Friday, June 7, 2013

Old Sneep

My mother still has her old battered copy of Lentil, the brilliant book by Robert McCloskey, which was read to her when she was a girl.

That same book was read to my brother and me.  A newer version resides in my brother's house which he subsequently read to my niece. 

I was reminded of Old Sneep the other day when my niece said, "He was being a complete Sneep."

Old Sneep in all his grumpy glory
So what is this about Old Sneep?  If you read Lentil, Old Sneep is an irascible, lemon sucker who almost spoils the homecoming of a renowned town citizen.

As a child, I found the lemon sucking revolting.  As an adult, it is still not appealing.  

Old Sneep working the lemon

But the point of Old Sneep was that he was a:

  • spoil sport
  • rain on the parader
  • selfish grump
  • man who exhibited bad behavior

Hence the multi-generational use of him as a bad behavior example.  We heard things like:

  • "You are being an Old Sneep." - often preceded an invitation to report to one's room
  •  "Your Sneep is showing."
  •  "Don't be Sneepish." 
  • "Shall I get you a lemon?" - used when in public.

All images from this wonderful book




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