Deb Elkink hosts a blog called MOTIFS where she follows cultural and literary images found in the Bible in an attempt to unearth God’s meaning in His pattern of usage.
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go . . .
This nursery rhyme, first published in 1830, was inspired by a true incident of a Massachusetts schoolgirl who had a constant companion in her pet. The lamb is a cultural icon for innocent compliance and vulnerability; for example, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 film “Lamb to the Slaughter” appropriated the theme of victimization, and an October 2011 article in Forbes magazine coined the term “the lion lying down with the lamb” to illustrate an economic point—both phrases originating in Scripture (Jer. 51:40; Isa. 11:6).
Click here to read more and scroll down about halfway to see a small icon of a lamb and the reading.