Cabbage babies. - [Fearsome Critter/UrbanLegend/Childlore*]
• About this Critter: Clearly, the most fearsome of all critters, is Man. We are born in fields, grown in groups of hundreds, and seeded row by row....
• History: A common fib told by parents to their children to dance around the awkward question: "where do babies come from???" - During the 19th century til today across America and Europe, the most popular answers are "the stork brought them" or "Oh, we found them in the cabbage patch/garden" - [The stork myth has a more solid origin, dating back further to 1830's Hans Christian Anderson & then back even further to Cranes & herons which also feature in Greek and Egyptian mythology, relating to babies, I won't be covering the stork myth today, you can rea more about that on BBC anyway.] - One modern (American) variation to the lie which I've heard recently was: "Oh, we ordered you off Amazon/Etsy!"
The trend of "Cabbage Children, grown in a field." can be found dating back at least to the turn of the century: Photo manipulated postcards from 1906. - a lot of these are either French or German in origin. - "A series of postcards was published around 1906 and produced by an unaccredited artist: These postcards explicitly show the process of how babies were grown - In the series, the gardener tends to his crops, watering them and ensuring they are getting all they need to grow healthy and strong before delivering them to worthy parents." (you can read more about this phenomena on the Whanganui regional museums website: here.) - thats not to say that this is the origin of it all though.
[Vintage german postcards, dated 1910.]
Children born from veggies are hardly uncommon in folktales from around the world; In Scotland, children would apparently place cabbage leaves outside their homes to ask fairies to bring them a new sibling. - Japan of course has several folk hero's who are born from fruits and veggies: Momotaro,(peach boy) Urikohime (melon princess) & Mamesuke (bean boy) to name a few.
• Pop Culture: it should also be noted that those horrible, ugly dolls of similar title that shall not be named. - Date back only to 1982, though, they actually do have their own somewhat terrifying creation myth as well. --I won't get into it here for reasons...
...Now, I'm sure you're wondering: "well, where DO babies come from then!??" - My answer to that is: Why the heck do you think I would know the answer to THAT?! Go ask your parents, weirdo!! :-)
*Note: I've classified this as child lore in this case, not because its something children actually believe, but simply because it's something frequently told to children. In my personal experience, 99% of kids reply with an eye roll, an exacerbated shrug or "hahaha, sure dad" when they are told this. (Happy April 1st!!!)
Art sticker by Samkalensky part of my fearsome critters/folkstuff series of stickers, follow me @samkalensky and check my shop for more! if you would like to arrange a custom or alternate coloured version of this sticker, please get in touch via shop messages, i'll respond when I'm available!