This may not be a question that’s ever occurred to you, but many months ago, when I received the draft cover for Sheepish, I laughed out loud because the sheep was ‘wearing’ a lime green hat and a lime green scarf. I loved the cover instantly. This has never happened to me before. I tend to get fussy about covers, urging the company to tweak this or move that.
But when this cover appeared in my email inbox, I was behind it 100%. Then the publisher started to tweak, changing the background color to pale blue, then pale orange. I threw, in highly professional terms, what is known as a hissy fit. The cover remains as it was, untweaked.
Whenever I have a new book come out, I give a gift to those people in the publishing company who’ve helped it along. This time I wanted to thank Sean in Marketing, Lara in Publicity, and of course, Alex the cover designer. But what to give them? When Hit by a Farm came out I gave people Lambchop puppets. When The Compassionate Carnivore came out, I sent my editor Renee a real shepherd’s crook for ‘shepherding’ me through the process.
The other day I was inspired. Alex (cover designer) dressed a sheep in clothing for my cover, so I would do the same thing for him. I dashed to Rochester and found some lime green yarn. I searched and searched for stuffed sheep, and found them at Toys R Us. Then I knit my very first hat, about two inches high, and a ten-inch scarf.
Sheep actually do wear clothing. They wear coats designed to keep their fleeces free of VM. (Vegetable matter is hay and straw and burrs and other crap they tend to pick up.)
Lambs wear coats to stay warm.
Sheep at state fairs need to be kept very clean, so they even wear hoods, which is a little too Klu Klux Klannish for me.
Given that sheep do wear clothing, I guess a hat and scarf isn’t all that crazy.
So I dressed my sheep. Three of these cuties will be heading eastward very soon.