Mary had a Little Lamb

Sprite and the Dabrowski dogs were still discussing the unfortunate incident of the expulsion of Mary’s dog from the school grounds

Emotional: It wasn’t fair! He was a really cute dog! He looked just like Imaginational

Intellectual He wasn’t a dog. He was a lamb.

Emotional: No, he wasn’t!

Intellectual: Yes, he was. They even wrote a nursery rhyme about it.

Mary had a little lamb
Whose fleece was white as snow
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go
It followed her to school one day
It was against the rule
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school

The rhyme does not say Mary had a Bedlington!

See, there is even an article about it in Wikipedia. It says

The nursery rhyme was first published (as opposed to written) by the Boston publishing firm Marsh, Capen & Lyon, as an original poem by Sarah Josepha Hale on May 24, 1830, and was inspired by an actual incident.[1]

As a girl, Mary Sawyer (later Mrs. Mary Tyler) kept a pet lamb, which she took to school one day at the suggestion of her brother. A commotion naturally ensued. Mary recalled::”Visiting school that morning was a young man by the name of John Roulstone, a nephew of the Reverend Lemuel Capen, who was then settled in Sterling. It was the custom then for students to prepare for college with ministers, and for this purpose Mr. Roulstone was studying with his uncle. The young man was very much pleased with the incident of the lamb; and the next day he rode across the fields on horseback to the little old schoolhouse and handed me a slip of paper which had written upon it the three original stanzas of the poem…”[2]

There are two competing theories on the origin of this poem. One holds that Roulstone wrote the first four lines and that the final twelve lines, more moralistic and much less childlike than the first, were composed by Sarah Josepha Hale; the other is that Hale was responsible for the entire poem. Another person who claims to have written the poem and well known nursery rhyme is Mary Hughs, but it has been confirmed that Sarah Hale wrote it.

Mary Sawyer’s house, located in Sterling, Massachusetts, was destroyed by arson on August 12, 2007.[3] A statue representing Mary’s Little Lamb stands in the town center. The Redstone School, which was built in 1798, was purchased by Henry Ford and relocated to a churchyard on the property of Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Sensual: That’s not how the rhyme goes. It goes

Mary had a little lamb,
A little beef,  a little ham.
Mary had a little lamb
With vegies and mint sauce
“Oh little lamb,” she said “I am
As hungry as a horse”

Emotional: Shush! You’ll upset Sprite! She wants to become a vegetarian.

Psycho Motor: No, that’s not right! It goes

Mary had a little lamb
She also had a bear
I’ve often seen her little lamb
I’ve never seen her bare

Imaginational:  Now you are just being rude and crude!
It is obvious that the poem about Mary is a parable about the separation of church and state and not being allowed to pray or teach Christian religious education in schools run by the state.

Intellectual: What makes you think that and what are your references?

Imaginational: Well, we know that Jesus was Mary’s Little Lamb. The references are all from the Bible – Matthew 1:18 He was the perfect Lamb of God without spot or blemish (white as snow). John 1:29 Isaiah 1:18, 2 Corinthians 5:21 Revelation 7:10

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