June 24, 2014

Never stew your sister...

Title illustration from Under the Window, Kate Greenaway
May I just say I have two awesome sisters?  The kind that help pick me up when I'm down, laugh with me at all of life's absurdities (and lately, I've had a lot of those to deal with!) and know exactly what will make my heart beat a little faster when they choose a gift. When my mother visited last week, she came bearing two special gifts from my sisters to celebrate my becoming a grandmother--how sweet and thoughtful.  So thank you to two wonderful sisters who know me oh so well.  I can't wait to read them with Lily!

Mouseton Abbey

Can't you see my having a tea party with Miss Lily and reading this book out loud to her?!  All sorts of mouse adventures await us...and would you believe the butler is named after my favorite English cheese.  Wensleydale to the rescue!

The Little Big Book for Grandmothers

And I can't wait to start using this charming book--it is filled with fairy tales, nursery rhymes, song, stories, words of wisdom, activities, and recipes.  And did I mention 19 poems by some of my favorite poets!?  It even has illustrations from Kate Greenaway, whose artwork I absolutely adored when I was a young girl.

So in honor of my two special sisters, here's a silly little rhyme by Lewis Carroll.  I simply couldn't stand the syrupy poems about sisters so I chose one with a bit of a twist instead.  Because I also had two brothers...

"Sister, sister, go to bed! 

Go and rest your weary head." 

Thus the prudent brother said. 

"Do you want a battered hide, 
Or scratches to your face applied?" 
Thus his sister calm replied. 

"Sister, do not raise my wrath. 
I'd make you into mutton broth 
As easily as kill a moth." 

The sister raised her beaming eye 
And looked on him indignantly 
And sternly answered, "Only try!" 

Off to the cook he quickly ran. 
"Dear Cook, please lend a frying-pan 
To me as quickly as you can." 

"And wherefore should I lend it you?" 
"The reason, Cook, is plain to view. 
I wish to make an Irish stew." 

"What meat is in that stew to go?" 
"My sister'll be the contents!" 
"You'll lend the pan to me, Cook?" 

Moral: Never stew your sister.

My two little sisters and one of my brothers...circa 1968

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