A Little Lamb
Recently I met a wonderful and engaging 94 year old woman, a native of Oregon, whose father had emigrated to Oregon with a wagon train when he was eight years old. As a girl raised on a farm in the lush Willamette Valley, this old woman told me a delightful tale of those days when one of the chores that fell to her was the care of lambs, piglets or other small creatures. Her mother would do the dry cleaning of their clothes with kerosene in a big kettle just outside the backdoor. The mother would fill the kettle with gallons of kerosene, put in clothes, mash them about with a big stick, ring them out, then hang them up to evaporate and dry. For the white wash, the kerosene was heated. The little girl couldn't help but notice how very white and pretty the white wash was hanging on the line and thought to herself, "Hmmm, wouldn't my lamb be so pretty!" So, when her mother had stepped back into the house and the kerosene had cooled, the little girl put her lamb into the kettle. The ruckus raised by the lamb brought the mother running right back out of the house! The mother quickly grabbed the poor little lamb from the kettle and helped the girl wash and rewash the lamb again and again and again. "And oh my!" said the old woman with a twinkle in her eye, "but wasn't my lamb so pretty!"