Dexter Sails Away to Dreamland in His Box-Boat

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe,—
Sailed on a river of crystal light
Into a sea of dew.

They say that in summer, you can tell how hot the temperature is by the length of the cat. When it gets warm out, cats sprawl out. So a longer cat would be an indicator of a hotter day.

Dexter, like all cats, is a creature of habit. He has certain places he likes to sleep at certain times of the year. In the winter, he is likely to snug up with me under a blanket, or even on my lap. When springtime comes, he is less likely to seek out a blanket and companionship, preferring a solitary spot in a sunny, open area instead.

I found this marvelous empty box in the hallway at work, and I saw its potential, and I took it home, and it became an instant Tabby hit. The box sits on top of several other boxes that are covered in colorful towels.

The box-on-top-of-boxes sits in front of the deck door windows, where Dexter can get a fine view of the outdoor critters. It has a fine view of the front stairs and the hallway, so Dexter can keep an eye on his indoor creatures, as well. You can find him in the favorite box at almost any hour of the day.

Dexter is one of the happiest-looking sleepers I know of. He dreams with a little smile on his face. And between the sweet little smile and the colorful designs on the towels beneath him, I thought it looked like he might just be having happy dreams of travel to far-away lands.

Now I am going to tell you something I may not have mentioned before. My oldest sister is the person who gave Dexter to me, and he was one of three little white-pawed Tabby boys (meet the other two: Bogie and Skeet), born of a white-pawed Tabby mother.

When they were born, my sister was trying to think of names for the kittens, and she came up with Wynken, Blynken, and Nod, from the poem by Eugene Field that has also been made into a children's song.

Two of the kittens were nearly identical, and so she named those two Wynken and Blynken. The third kitten was a lighter, almost browner shade, so she named him . . . Odd. So yes, I am here to tell you that my wonderful Dexter's original name was Odd.

And so the song to accompany this sweet image of the happiest sleeper I know of is the song that was made from the children's poem. The spelling varies, as in some versions it is Wynken and Blynken (with a y), and in others, it is Winken and Blinken (with an i). And yes, then of course there's Odd, I mean Nod . . . sailing away to Dreamland in his magical box-boat . . .

The first version of this song that I ever loved was performed by the Irish Rovers, so I'll include that as my first link. There are also lovely versions by other performers as well, and here are two of those: one by Donovan, and one by Carly and Lucy Simon (music begins around 1:00).

“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring-fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we,"
Said Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.

-from the poem by Eugene Field

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