“Please, sir, draw me a sheep.”
So said the little boy with the robe and sword to a pilot who’d crash-landed in The Sahara Desert in the plot of “The Little Prince.”
After a few go-rounds — frustrating — the pilot drew a box and asked the little boy to imagine the sheep was inside, illustrating one of his most enduring points: “What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Author Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s point this was not, but I kind of sympathize with the pilot. It’s not all that simple to draw a good sheep, especially for discerning eyes, of which the caped youngster was possessed. So imagine my surprise when I learned my older sister was going to “make” a sheep, as in — happy Halloween — a sheep costume for her youngest son.
Have to admit I was almost as startled as I was impressed so further probed the informant, our mother:
Me: She is going to make a sheep costume? How does she know how to do that?
Mom: She’s very crafty. She has always been good at that sort of stuff.
Me: Huh. I guess. (Mental note: I have never been good at that kind of stuff, and we come from the same stock, so what the heck happened to me? Oh well.)
Mom: She was going to buy the fabric and then decided it would be cheaper and easier to buy a fuzzy blanket from Sam’s Club that kind of looks like a sheep and use that instead.
Now this was taking things to a whole new level. She was going to turn a fuzzy blanket into a sheep costume? Call me easily impressed, but I simply had to investigate this further.
Memorandum to sister: Please, madame, tell me about this sheep.
Sister: Sorry, no story. He decided he no longer wanted to be a sheep. I think I could have done it pretty well though.
Me (still impressed): Tell me how you would have done it then. (Can’t help myself. I’m fascinated here.)
Sister (no doubt unimpressed I’m so easily impressed): Just cut a hole for the head, stitch under the arms, gather the bottom, cut another piece to make a baby-bonnet-type head with ties and attach some ears to it. He would wear a black shirt and black, legging-type pants …
Me to myself: And she’s not even on Pinterest! (Pinterest being, of course, the technology-meets-downhomey user-supported website responsible, in part, for this reborn arts-and-crafts mania in America … )
Does anyone else feel left behind? Does the word “just” in sister’s how-to explanation seem slightly understated to anyone else? And does anyone else happen to think sewing machines became coolest when people started repurposing them into, say, beverage carts? (Google-image it.)
If said youngest son were my own son, I’d probably have breathed a sigh of relief at what ultimately happened in the above scenario, which was that he decided he wanted to be a leprechaun instead and wear a costume purchased online, yet I can’t help feeling sorry for my sister-mama and her short-lived woolly plans. Takes me back, almost, to those quaint childhood days when real moms not only made all their children’s Halloween costumes but school clothes and play clothes, too. I have a decades-old classrooom picture to prove that not only were Dorothy Hamill haircuts hotter than hot but so were three-piece cotton suits for Dorothy’s disciples, yours truly no exception. My homemade suit was marine blue, with matching pants, zip-up vest and jacket. All that wasn’t homemade was the kicky striped turtleneck, thanks for asking.
Have to say I never thought I’d see the day such resourcefulness became mainstream once more, but I think it’s more than officially here. I see the evidence not only all over Pinterest but Facebook, too, posted by a mess of women and even — gasp — a gaggle of men, many 10 or more years my junior.
Evidently, I have some catching-up to do. Step one: Get the ice cubes out of the Singer and get head in the game.