(prompt: 'love' 5/1/2018)
"C’mon Ooroo," Candy seemed to say. "You can do it, I know you can. Watch—" and she demonstrated her version of navigation. Easy for her, these two steps at the end of our long, wooden verandah. By the fourth (or fifth?) attempt, at last the little chap learned his particular translation. His awkward bundle of legs came together for an amazingly graceful leap.
Until I first saw Ooroo, I had not known such pitiful specimens of the usually awe-inspiring kangaroo existed. Sparsely furred and desperately stressed, his tiny shrunken face and huge agonised eyes tragically shared his belief there was nothing left to live for. My heart ached with wanting to ease his fear and pain. This delicate little creature would surely be one of my more miserable rescue failures. Certain we'd be parting company in short order, I named him Ooroo (an old-time farewell in the Australian bush).
I was wrong about the likely survival of this skeletal figure - thankfully. I hadn't taken into account the life-giving love my sweet puppy, Candy would most willingly provide. Every newly reclaimed soul to be saved received a formal introduction to this motherly pup along with a solid lick of approval. Candy cheerfully offered the full gamut of her services—parent, baby-sitter, nanny, big sister, care-giver and protector extraordinaire.
At Ooroo’s official welcome he blinked, clicked his tongue several times, and fell in love. I watched it happen. An unexpected lump forms in my throat as I think of these two most unlikely soul-mates. I have no explanation why some animals will declare for friendship whilst others declare war. Simply always been deeply thankful for the acceptance and love in our menagerie.
"Didn't Ooroo love his first warm drink of goat's milk?" Kanute isn’t really asking a question. It’s more like another picture floating to the surface from the memory album. I nod slowly, picturing that dear scene.
“Oh yes. Life became more liveable by the moment for our baby Ooroo.” Tucked into his hanging bed on the back of a chair, he greedily sucked on the special teat. The hot water bottle beneath him, a full, warm tummy and a heap of TLC were the essentials to take him through the night. Next morning found him alive and clicking, his little face peering out anxiously for something safe and familiar. Candy and I waited willingly. His deep need found him with two new mothers.
"Didn't he love 'coming out' from his artificial pouch for his cuddles?" I laugh as I agree, remembering too how eagerly he sought Candy. Nothing compared to her cheerful and enthusiastic clean-up of his face and chest. A routine began that first day. Candy thoroughly washed Ooroo's chin and mouth, then it was his turn. This sweet baby would hold Candy's face with his delicate little paws, and lick off surplus droplets of milk clinging to her whiskers. They talked to each other constantly; he in clicks and her with gentle whines and soft 'woofs'.
"They really thought they were brother and sister," I say.
"And they really thought you were their mother, just like all your pets and rescues. What’s that Beatles’ song? ‘All my Loving’?"
(prompt: birthday 12/1/2018)
Once upon a very long time ago there wasn’t an old girl called Christine.
There was this no-name foetus kicking and shoving to get out of her mother into the world. How wonderful to be able to report she picked up a pencil before she could talk or walk. Wonderful… but ridiculous. In reality she was overly eager to start talking, and it’s a moot point to imagine when she’ll ever stop.
The mother wanted a replacement for the baby boy who had died in her arms. Secretly, she was also anticipating some delicious hours of non-sedated sleep, seeing as how the medication was mainly intended for her passenger, enabling her to some much-needed time-out.
The father wanted a footballer to be a star for the club where his father had been President for many years. The amount of movement clearly visible in his wife’s large and swollen stomach gave him reason for great optimism. Her inability to sleep much at all due to the near constant activity taking place bolstered his hopes even higher.
Born over a decade earlier, the brothers and sister were hanging out for a new baby to lift the doom and gloom that hung like the blackest cloud over the whole family. Many people assumed the new babe was an accident. (Over the years, many more have come to the same conclusion - for different reasons.) Laughter was almost non-existent in that household - all too often a forced, unnatural kind of thing, fleeting and light as the breeze from a butterfly’s wings.
The doctor was jubilant. He had advised the father to get the mother pregnant as soon as possible, to save her sanity after their loss. And it was all coming to fruition, way better than his most outlandish dreams for this worthy family. He shared his conviction with the parents-to-be that twins were the reason for this gross amount of movement. Admittedly, he’d only been able to pick up one heartbeat - but that was not so unusual - one babe could well be laying in front of the other.
An atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in August, 1945, but it didn't have the personal repercussions of the bombshell that was dropped at Memorial Hospital when Christine was born. Just one baby - and a girl, to boot! Could the bomb and the babe have inspired the name of ... 'Baby Boomers'?
Heavily drugged to slow down the long-planned and well-rehearsed fast entrance, the mother’s initial groggy response to the news was, “throw her out the window. I don’t want a girl.” I guess that was a ‘Welcome to the World’ of sorts, but not quite according to the Grand Plan.
They say the old Doc was so embarrassed by his gaggle of errors, he nearly did throw Christine out - hoping she’d be lost amongst all the other little rosebuds in the manicured garden below.
Ha! No chance when dealing with an Aries. Why wasn’t he warned?