By Christina Rossetti
The upland flocks grew starved and thinned;
Their shepherds scarce could feed the lambs
Whose milkless mothers butted them,
Or who were orphaned of their dams.
The lambs athirst for mother's milk
Filled all the place with piteous sounds:
Their mothers' bones made white for miles
The pastureless wet pasture grounds.
Day after day, night after night,
From lamb to lamb the shepherds went,
With teapots for the bleating mouths
Instead of nature's nourishment.
The little shivering gaping things
Soon knew the step that brought them aid,
And fondled the protecting hand,
And rubbed it with a woolly head.
Then, as the days waxed on to weeks,
It was a pretty sight to see
These lambs with frisky heads and tails
Skipping and leaping on the lea,
Bleating in tender, trustful tones,
Resting on rocky crag or mound.
And following the beloved feet
That once had sought for them and found.
These very shepherds of their flocks,
These loving lambs so meek to please,
Are worthy of recording words
And honour in their due degrees:
So I might live a hundred years,
And roam from strand to foreign strand,
Yet not forget this flooded spring
And scarce-saved lambs of Westmoreland.
I got up very early Friday to take Adam to the orthodontist, where he got his upper braces removed and there was much rejoicing, though there will be even more next week when the lower ones are removed as well. We were there for a long time, with a hysterical little boy sobbing in the waiting area and then the dentist's chair for nearly an hour. After I took son to school and stopped to get him the mouthwash the orthodontist recommended, I had lunch and spent the afternoon working on a review of Next Gen's "Ship in a Bottle", which I don't think is as good a review as the one I wrote of its prequel, "Elementary, Dear Data," but I think it does get across why I think the episode is so fantastic.
The Friday Five: Just Stuff
1. Which of your country's leaders (past or present) would you like to have a chance to sit down and talk to? Thomas Jefferson.
2. What job would you never want to have to do? Apart from the obvious (cleaning public school toilets), I don't think I could work for the ACLU and defend the rights of neo-Nazis, the Klan, people who publish images of animals being tortured, etc.
3. How many kids do you have and what are their ages? If you don't have kids, do you think you want any down the road? If so, how many? I have two teenage boys.
4. Do you have a "blankie" or a favorite stuffed animal? What is it/what does it look like? I have had a rabbit called Big Bunny that's actually only about a foot tall or so, that lives at my parents' house these days.
5. What is your favorite flower? Roses -- unlike orchids, I'm not allergic to any of them.
Fannish5: Name the five most loving fictional moms.
I feel like I'm supposed to include Lily Evans Potter since she OMG DIED for her child, but I think sometimes it's braver to live for your child -- or, as in the case of Ellen Ripley, for a child who's not even yours.
1. Sarah Connor, Terminator II
2. Niki Sanders, Heroes
3. Jackie Tyler, Doctor Who
4. Morticia Addams, The Addams Family
5. Marge Simpson, The Simpsons
We had dinner with my parents -- the carnivores had chicken parmesan while Adam and I had excellent vegan Moroccan chicken, plus we all had some of the cheesecake that Daniel was selling as a chorus fundraiser. We've spent much of the evening watching Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans on TCM, and although the former is older, I think the latter is even more cheesy -- the effects are marginally better but the costumes and acting are beyond hilarious. Here are a few more photos of the lambs at Mount Vernon, since they are adorable: