The ballad inspired by my mother’s childhood shepherding days is complete! Though I yet reel from the achievement and bask in the joy of it, I am eager to begin work on the Afrikaans adaptation. Already, I have some lines roughly worked out and a title for it: “Skaapwagtertjie”1 (“[little] sheep-keeper”). Incidentally, the non-diminutive form—“skaapwagter”—is the common Afrikaans name for the Wheatear songbird (Oenanthe oenanthe).
- [skaahp-vuKG-teR-ki] Pronounced as one word, with the [u] in “up”, the guttural [KG] in the Scottish “loch”, a trilled [R] and the [i] in “in”.