Monday, March 7, 2016

The Stuff I Can't Make Up

The day starts like any other. The sun comes up. Clouds sail by. Goats meet me at the door because they’ve jumped the fence—again. 

Sherwood and I start to plot ways to construct a goat prison.

The grandchildren come over to visit the goats and to hang from trees off of ropes, and then a tree frog got the jump on me, the horses stampeded, and a strawberry faked me out.

It’s winter here in Florida. We put sweaters on and walk fast to our cars. However, winter is challenging for the amphibian living in the door handle of our front door. The amphibian is a tree frog about the size of a goat’s nose. He snuggles up in the handle, turns a sickly gray/yellow, and looks like I feel when the air turns a bit nippy.

On the day in question, I had to run outside to wrangle goats/kids/a sprinkler after which I rushed back, grabbed the door handle, squashed the squishy frog living there, and screamed. Not that big a deal you say. Ahhh . . . but then I did it three more times . . . in a row. I screamed each and every time. Frog – four. Linda – gross. And then . . .

“Tramp the Goat jumped the fence. He’s wrestling with Mr. Medina’s girl goats,” a random grandkid screamed.

I sent yet another random kid over the fence to goat wrestle Tramp the Tramp back to our house.

“Stampede!!!!” still another random grandkid suddenly yelled. Someone had left the pasture gate open. The sound of pounding hooves skipped through the air. Children screamed. Mothers screamed. Children scattered. Mothers screamed and scattered. The horses thundered around the corner of the house.

Kip (aged 7) made a valiant effort to outrun our horses, lost the battle, and threw himself into a hedge next to the house. 

We train for this. We call it home school P.E. or how to outrun stampeding horses, bison, and goats. 

Because of the stampede, I wet my pants. It’s a self defense mechanism I’ve developed when snatched up by predators or giants or experience intense panic. Just like snakes and frogs, I pee on my enemies, hoping they’ll be startled enough to drop me.

I rounded up the herd, checked the bushes for survivors, walked inside, sat down, and heard the unmistakable sound of kid screaming. Reagan had smacked Scout in the cheek with a door handle. The screams grew in decibel and horror level. Sadie joined in.

“Her tongue. Her tongue is gone,” Sadie shrieked. 

I raced to Scout’s head to pry her jaws open and saw that her tongue was indeed rolled up in two wads—one blood red wad in each cheek. I screamed. “Her tongue is gone. Dial 9 1 . . .”

Scout’s mother joined the hysteria, pried the kid’s mouth farther open and said, “It’s a strawberry. It’s two wads of chewed up strawberry in her cheeks. Her tongue is fine.” 

“Okay, well in that case don’t dial anything.” I went to change my pants—again.

And that, my friends, is some of the stuff I couldn’t make up if they paid me or gave me to a giant to sit on enormous golden eggs for a year.

Linda (What Now?) Zern 

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