Friday, May 29, 2015

The Sheep of the Lal Bagh

Our township has a neat program where they "hire" sheep to come and graze the overgrown municipal owned areas.  We've see them over by the retention pond and in the courtyards at the high school.  The teenagers must get a kick out of seeing sheep right outside their windows!  Not only is the program cost effective and environmentally friendly, but it just seems really fun!

David Mark
pictures by Lionel Kalish 1967

When I read the article in the local paper announcing the new program, my first thought was immediately this book (who knows, maybe that's where someone at the township offices got the idea!).  Illustrated by Lionel Kalish in glorious 60's/70's psychedelic style, the book tells the story of an Indian city whose park 'lawnmower' was a beloved sheep named "Ramesh".  On their holidays, the people of the city came to the park to relax and also to see the sheep.  When the mayor decides that the city needs a modern lawn mower, Ramesh is unceremoniously dismissed and everyone is unhappy.

They could not pat a machine, or rub a machine's head, or climb on a machine's back and ask it for a ride.  So little by little the people stopped coming to the park. 

Luckily for Ramesh and the people of the city, a compromise was soon reached.  (And there's a funny accompanying illustration of the committee appointed to find Ramesh looking through all the sheep!)

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