One of my favorite nursery rhymes as a child was, and still is, "Little Bo Peep." I had a big book of Mother Goose nursery rhymes. The cover was black and white checked and had a beautiful illustration of Mother Goose flying, well, on her goose. My mother read me the book so many times that I had all the rhymes memorized and we would say them together over and over and over. This one came to mind as I was painting "Peep":
"Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep,/And doesn't know where to find them./Leave them alone and they'll come home,/Wagging their tails behind them."
The origins of the poem are debatable, but some believe it was written in the early 1800's.
Picture the quintessential costume of the meringue skirt, large, ruffled bonnet and big shepherd's hook, complete with a huge satin bow is some pastel hue. This 6" x 6" painting of a little sheep is a nod to that poem. Look at that mischievous face! Where has that sheep been?
The rhyme now reminds me of my own children (although not lost) running around in the neighborhood, playing with their friends as I did as a child. Eventually, they come back home. Sometimes with their tails wagging--like when my son went swimming with his cell phone in his pocket! But, mostly they come home bleating,"Mom! What's for dinner?"
I am lucky to live in one of those 1960s neighborhoods where you actually know your neighbors and kids can stay out until dark. So even when I am not around to herd my children through their days, I know that there are good shepherds watching after them. Now, if I could just get my hands on one of those hooks!