Some of you might know that Mary once had a little lamb, but at the end of the day it was against the rule. Now these days for every rule some crazy situation occurred for that rule to be created in the first place. So here’s the truth.
When Mary Sawyer was just two years old, there was a girl in that very town by the name of Carrie. Carrie didn’t have a little lamb follow her to school. She happened upon it as she walked into an open field on the way to school. Knowing that lambs weren’t the sort of animal best left on their own and so she brought it with her intending to return it to its shepherd after school so that she would not be late.
She took her hair ribbon and tied the lamb to the fence before she went inside. Already Timothy was receiving two slaps on the wrists for a poor choice of words. Outside, that little lamb was vocal in its protest of being tied-up. Unbeknownst to little Carrie, that lamb had managed to get free of her dark green ribbon and proceeded to wander off in such a way that lambs are particularly skilled at. By the time Carrie managed to get outside for lunch, her charge was nowhere to be seen or heard.
Taught to do the right thing, she made her case to the teacher that it was neccessary for her to find the lamb that was not hers so that it could be returned to its home. So almost the entire class, with the exception of the oldest grade who remained behind to watch the youngest grades, spread out to search the valley for the lost lamb. They looked high and they looked low, but nobody saw it anywhere. Eventually all of the students gathered back at the school, but the teacher soon realized that one group was missing, the Curtis brothers, Michael and Stephen.
Stephen stopped his older brother when he had heard the lamb. It had tuckered itself out and laid down here in the tall grass. It’s calls for help hadn’t only attracted the brothers, but also a hungry wild dog. Michael grabbed the nearest stick and fended off the animal while Stephen picked up the lamb and headed back towards the road. By the time Michael had caught up to him, the lamb’s shepherd had appeared with a relieved look on his face.
The entire afternoon had been a waste, the teacher was thinking. Not only did she not teach anything, but she had lost two students in the process. Since there wasn’t a rule about situations like this, she would have to create one. As she was about to dismiss the students, the Curtis brothers appeared over the hillside. They had explained that they had not only found the lamb but returned it home. The lamb itself was to be entered in the fair next week and it’s shepherd had spent the entire morning looking for it after wild dogs had gotten into his field the night before.
The teacher was glad that the entire episode had ended well, but the fact of the matter was that had Carrie not brought the lamb she would have taught the class their usual subjects. So she made it clear that bringing a lamb to school was now and would forever be against the rule. You’ve simply never heard of Carrie and her little lamb before because nobody could write a rhyme or match it to a tune.
(By the way, according to Wikipedia, A Miss Mary of Massachusetts did bring a lamb to her one-room school one day and it inspired the nursery rhyme. She wrote of the incident: “Visiting school that morning was a young man by the name of John Roulstone, a nephew of the Reverend Lemuel Capen, who was then settled in Sterling. It was the custom then for students to prepare for college with ministers, and for this purpose Mr. Roulstone was studying with his uncle. The young man was very much pleased with the incident of the lamb; and the next day he rode across the fields on horseback to the little old schoolhouse and handed me a slip of paper which had written upon it the three original stanzas of the poem…”)