The Upside of a Bottle Lamb

… is that they are fun for kids. Leon and Joyce brought their adopted children Faith and Noah out to the farm yesterday morning to feed little 10 some warm milk in a bottle.

Captain Freddie, of course, had to share the love.

In England a bottle lamb is called a “cosset lamb,” or simply a cosset. I am fascinated to see how the word cosset evolved from Middle English for pet lamb to its current meaning, to pamper, or to overly indulge.

I am rarely cosseted but when I am, I relish it just as much as 10 enjoys her bottle.

In the U.S., a hand-raised lamb is called a “bummer lamb.” The extra work is a bummer — but my guess is the name evolved from bum, a beggar in constant search of a handout.

In any event, the lamb in Mary Had a Little Lamb was surely a cosset/bummer lamb. “… And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.” No mention of the bottle of milk likely in Mary’s pocket.

*    *    *

It was nice to see Leon — with his easy grin, wool hat, and buffalo plaid mackinaw. We spoke about work this summer. He has some ideas about what he could do with equipment to improve the farm. It is sad to accept that Allen will never be back, but warming to know that Leon and Joyce are enthusiastic. I am lucky that Leon is available.

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