To me, the very best picture books inevitably seem to connect to
something dark and murky, something really strange. One of my
favorites of these is The Little Fur Family.
The whole thing is filled with small unexpected mysterious digressions, much like, I guess, the mind of a child. The little fur child goes here and there (how old
is he, anyway?) unaccompanied, and where they live is a "wild, wild
wood." He ventures into the darkness, but just before it gets too dark,
his mother finds him.
And in the end, he is in his tiny bed, holding
paws with his parents, and they sing him a song.
What is the tune of this song? Everyone I know sings it to a different
melody. One parent I know sings it differently each time. But we sing
it with a tune that seemed to just come up, as eerie and strange and
sweet as the story. I wonder how she meant it to be?
Sleep, sleep, my little fur child
Out of the windiness, out of the wild
Sleep warm in your fur all night long,
In your little fur family
This is a song.