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Doctor Foster went to Gloucester
In a shower of rain.
He stepped in a puddle
Right up to his middle
And never went there again!
— Poet unknown, England, xiii c.
This nursery rhyme was purportedly written in reference to King
Edward I (b.1239 AD d.1307), "Doctor Foster," after he tumbled
from his horse into a muddy puddle. Angered and embarrassed
by the incident, he refused to pay any further visits to Gloucester.
In a bygone age, the narrative became a warning to children that
the puddles found on roads might be deeper than they appeared.
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