Celie was trying to sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and couldn’t remember all the words. I couldn’t either, so I found a couple video versions of it on Youtube. I left for 5 minutes and came back to find C&I watching Pokemon cartoon footage of creatures hitting one another in the face to a soundtrack of Akon’s “Smack That.” I’m sure they couldn’t make out any of the lyrics, at least (one sample: “The way she climbs up and down them poles/ Looking like one of them putty-cat dolls”).
Note to self: no unmonitored Youtube time allowed.
Mary had a little lamb its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.
It followed her to school one day, which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play, to see a lamb at school.
And so the teacher turned it out, but still it lingered near,
And waited patiently about till Mary did appear.
“Why does the lamb love Mary so?” the eager children cry;
“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know” the teacher did reply.
It’s an interesting fantasy of pure and total reciprocal love between child and animal. What’s the answer to why the lamb loves Mary? Just reverse the subject and object: Mary loves the lamb. The trip to school is a ritual of maturation and development away from infancy, but the lamb remains as a disruptive “lingering” remnant of the pure animal love of babyhood. I suppose the lamb is probably a Jesus type, too, which means the rhyme may be an allegory of the tension of spiritual faith in the rational schoolroom.
No strip-club pussy-cat dolls allowed at school, either.
By the way, the words to “Mary Had a Little Lamb” were apparently the first recorded by Edison on a tinfoil phonograph.