Counting Sheep

Having lived on a farm in the north of England I know that the suggestion that you 'count sheep' to fall asleep is actually an invitation to lose yourself in the rhythmic, abstract nonsense of words that are on the edge of extinction. It would be no use asking Anton to close his eyes and visualise one sheep after another leaping over a gate. While he loves to count it still requires deep concentration. But sheep counting whispered into the ears of my children beckons them away from current preoccupations ('There are no dinosaurs are there?') and allows me to walk the hills I miss so much. So here it is (one of the many versions at least), lest it be lost:

Yan, tan, tether, mether, pimp.
Sether, hether, hother, dother, dick.
Yan dick, tan dick, tether dick, mether dick, bumfit.
Yan bumfit, tan bumfit, tether bumfit, mether bumfit, gigot.

Julia walking the hills near her previous home in Elslack, Yorkshire.
Leading the children into sleep.

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