Last night I confirmed the survival of Mama Quail and her four remaining babies as she ran by our backyard fence. She seems to be doing the best she can to protect and raise her little brood. Showing immense distrust of humans, she keeps her charges a good 6 feet from our fence and certainly doesn’t dawdle. This makes it tough on those of us who might imperil her children just to get a closer look, but seems to make her feel much safer.
And I’m mourning the loss of one of my favorite illustrators, Maurice Sendak, who died last week. He was a favorite of mine long before he was famous, when I became familiar with his drawings for Little Bear, by Else Holmelund Minarik, published in 1957. I still have my childhood copy (actually my sister’s; it has her name on the inside; I have no recollection of stealing it. Hmmm.)
So today I offer you an illustration of Mama Quail and her four children, executed in the mediums Maurice Sendak might have used, ink and watercolor.