Friday, December 25, 2009

And Sheep May Safely Graze

Celticchristmas_2Back when we were courting (don't you just love that phrase?), my now-husband bought me a Christmas cassette (tells you how long ago THAT was) called Celtic Christmas, harp music by Kim Robertson.  I fell in love with one piece called "And Sheep May Safely Graze" by, of all people, Johann Sebastian Bach.  (Can you believe it, I'd never heard the piece before.)  I loved this piece of music so much, I hired a harpist to play it at my wedding.  (Sadly, she wasn't as good as Kim Robertson.)

St.Francis I think that's when I got this thing for sheep.  I started buying them.  Oh, not the actual creatures.  Get real--I live in the suburbs. 

My first sheep was a stuffed toy.  But I'm not really into stuffed animals (although I do seem to have more than my fair share).  I like that they're placid animals--at least as figurines.  They sit quietly in my cabinet and seem to have a calming effect on me when I'm ready to yank out my hair over some idiotic situation.  Although an acquaintance of mine who works at a "living museum" (think Sturbridge--but not as grand) says sheep can be really stoooopid--and even throw tantrums.  Who knew?

About ten years ago I bought my first orphaned sheep at an estate sale.  Somehow they'd been separated from the other nativity figurines.  I wasn't exactly sure what to do with them until after a trip to Italy, where I got a St. Francis figurine.  Then my little display kind of evolved, including an orphaned lamb. 

Group_2Things haven't exactly gotten out of hand, but I do try to pick up as many orphaned nativity sheep as I can find at garage sales and such, and I usually don't pay more than 50 cents for them.  My first ram came from a charity shop in England (a gift from my mother--he's the one with the black horns).  One Christmas my friend Janette even gave me a Cherished Teddy (in a kilt and holding a lamb!) to act as shepherd for my flock.

Sheep I don't think I added anything to my collection for more than a year before these guys showed up just days ago. 

They needed a home...and I'm happy to give it to them.

Merry Christmas--and happy holidays all!