Greetings, Gentle Reader,

A few years ago, our youngest daughter brought a very nice guy home. She and he were students at the same college. He was a linebacker, and looked like the kind of guy you wouldn’t want to irritate. He gave you the feeling that if you crossed him once, you might not live long enough to do it twice.

But his impressive, indeed ominous, appearance belies a gentle nature. He has turned out to be a phenomenal husband and father, gentle but strong, kind but firm. He willing works at extremely hard, dirty jobs, then comes home and makes delicious pies for his adoring wife and children.

As you can see, we like him. But, inadvertently, I gave the poor guy the acid test the day he walked in our door. I had a young doe, a first-freshener, due to kid that day. When she started her contractions, all looked well, but she didn’t seem to make any progress. On my umpteenth trip to the barn, I found that she was in need of immediate help. When I went in to get the babies, I discovered that I, too, needed help. Not only were the babies not lined up on the “runway,” they were all wound up in a confusing puzzle.

There seemed to be feet and heads everywhere, with no way to tell which ones went to which baby. They wouldn’t be able to be born until I unwound them and got just one baby started to be born at a time. That’s when I got on the intercom and called for our son-in-law-to-be’s assistance.

When he arrived at the barn, I asked him to keep the doe still, while I delivered the babies. He had spent some of his childhood on a farm, but had never done this job before.

A hard delivery can be both a little messy and a lot traumatic for a novice. Unfortunately, as I pulled one baby and hurriedly cleaned it’s nose and mouth, I threw a big blob of mucus on him. He didn’t so much as blink, and I didn’t even notice what I had done, but later he told our daughter that he thought he was going to throw up when he saw that yucky stuff splatter on him.

All turned out well. The babies and mother came through the ordeal in great shape. Our daughter’s young suitor handled his part like a man, but to this day, he tells the story of his initiation into our family. The facts of the story don’t change, but his skill in telling it has increased to the point that, really, he should be on a stage. He keeps his audience breathless with laughter.

Return to the Neighborhood!

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