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She folded up her pink blanket with the gray kittens nestled in white fluffy clouds with great precision. It had to be just so. Folded in half lengthwise and then halved again, then the long rectangle had to be folded in half and then half again, so that it would be in the perfect square with four kittens on top. This she placed in the center of her pillow to lay her face against. It smelled of sunshine and felt cool and soft on her cheeks. She would flip it over until she fell asleep to feel that same coolness whenever her face warmed it too much. Next to her blanket on the pillow was the yellow lamb her grandmother had given her. She would rub the lamb's back each night to help the lamb go to sleep as she hummed to it.

Tonight was special. She was spending the night at her grandparents' house. Her grandmother always hung her blanket out during the day when she visited, "to catch the sunshine for my zwetschgerle". She loved the smell of sunshine. Quickly, she changed into her flannel nightgown, brushed her teeth, scrubbed her face rosy, and brushed her hair shiny and soft. She ran down the hall and jumped up onto her grandfather's lap, making him put down his newspaper. He never acted irritated but always glowed with a warm smile when she did this. He smelled of Tabac and grandfather all mixed up together. Her grandmother brought over the warm milk with honey for her to sip while her grandfather told her a story about the before times. She grew drowsy listening to his deep voice cradled in his arms.

"Come on Zwetschgerle, time for bed", her grandmother beckoned softly. "Your eyes are already there."

She hugged and kissed her grandfather goodnight, then took her grandmother's ready hand and walked sleepily down the hall to her waiting bed. She willingly climbed into bed and lay on her stomach with her face against her much loved blanket. Her face bathed in moonlight from the window. Her grandmother sat down on the bed next to her, moving her fingers gently across her back, spiralling from little circles to big circles. She made the same circles on her lamb's back too. Her grandmother's soft voice quietly filled the air with song.

Guten Abend, gute Nacht, Mit Rosen bedacht,
Mit Naeglein besteckt, schlupf unter die Deck
Morgen frueh, wenn Gott will, wirst du wieder geweckt
Morgen frueh, wenn Gott will, wirst du wieder geweckt

She started humming softly along, closing her eyes, feeling the rhythmic circles on her back, little to big to little again. Her fingers grew heavy so she just rested her hand on her lamb's back. Sunshine smell filled her nose.

Guten Abend, gute Nacht, Von Englein bewacht
Die zeigen im Traum, dir Christkindleins Baum
Schlaf nun selig und suess, Schau im Traum's Paradies
Schlaf nun selig und suess, Schau im Traum's Paradies

Her humming had stopped by the fifth repeat of the song. Her breathing deepened. She was well on her way to dreamland and still her grandmother stayed. She changed from singing to humming as she continued with the circles, making sure that her zwetschgerle was truly asleep. And still she stayed to watch her sleep in the glow of the moon as she dreamed sweet dreams. Finally she bent down to brush her lips against her cheeks and whisper

"Sleep well, my zwetschgerle, sleep well"

Here's the English translation I found at BabyCenter.com*

Lullaby and good night, with roses bedight
With lilies o'er spread is baby's wee bed
Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed
Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed

Lullaby and good night, thy mother's delight
Bright angels beside my darling abide
They will guard thee at rest, thou shalt wake on my breast
They will guard thee at rest, thou shalt wake on my breast


*Why was I there, you ask? I was looking for this, of course.

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