Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Poor Jemima, Poor Susan!

Here's a photo from Black Friday showing Monique and Brandy, Ping, Jemima (flapping her wings), Siobhan and a couple of the drakes.

Saturday, Herb left for Dallas to be with his sister in the hospital.  Sunday Jim and Monique and the kids went home and Jean-Marc began his long drive back to Virginia, leaving Jenny to help me with everything there was to do.  Little did she know, bless her heart!

It was raining all day Sunday, and by the time Jenny and I finished everything we had to do inside and got outside to do evening feeding, it was pitch black and pouring rain.  Suddenly we realized something was wrong with Jemima.  She was outside of the barnyard fence as usual, proud to be the only duck who could fly over the fence despite our repeated admonitions that the fox was going to get her.

Jemima was bleeding, and I picked her up in my arms and carried her into the hay barn while Jenny ran to get Kara and antibiotic ointment.  I realized we were going to have to keep Jemima in the house to keep her warm and dry, and I carried her to the back corner of the barn to try to find a cat carrier.  In my rain-fogged glasses, I tripped over something heavy and immoveable on the floor--and I was the thing that moved.  I toppled like a tree felled with an axe, straight for the concrete floor.  In the seconds it took me to hit, I realized I would kill Jemima if I fell on her, and I twisted to avoid landing on her.  I smashed into the concrete with all my weight on my left knee, followed by my right knee, and skidded a couple feet.  That's where the girls found me, sitting on the floor holding Jemima and bawling.

The girls helped me wrap her in a fleece throw and helped me to my feet and over to something I could sit on to look at Jemima.  She was looking around, neither making a sound nor struggling, as I put ointment in the deep, bleeding wounds left by a predator.  Then I wrapped her up again and sat there stroking her and telling her what a good duck she was.  Her head began to droop bit by bit, and I told the girls it didn't look good.  We prayed for her then, that if she could recover, God would help her to, and that if she was too badly wounded that He would take her quickly before she suffered any more.  When we opened our eyes, she was gone.  And there the three of us sat with tears streaming down our faces, saying goodbye to poor Jemima.

To Jemima Puddleduck, brave and beautiful, full of adventure, may you rest in peace.  We will miss your fun and lively spirit and your presence on our barnyard fence.  May the grass be greener, the water clearer, and the drakes fewer in the Great Barnyard Beyond.

The rest of the title, "Poor Susan," is because while my fall with Jemima didn't spare her life, it didn't do me any good, either.  My left knee immediately blew up to twice its size, unable to bear my weight for walking.  After hobbling painfully around for a week, having to leave more and more of the chores to Jenny, watching green and purple bruises migrate down my leg as the swelling subsided, I finally had to admit my knee was not getting better.  Herb got home this past Saturday and took me to our orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday.  I still have to have an MRI this coming Saturday, but my doctor is sure that I've torn my meniscus and need to have surgery to repair (hopefully) or partially remove it.

A couple good things came out of that visit:  Orders to stay off my feet and a prescription for a wheelchair.  I can now get around the house or go to the bathroom without hobbling painfully, creepingly across the floor.  I am learning lots of new things--for instance, that "wheelchair accessible" bathrooms are no such thing (Kara, my driver, will confirm that!).  I am learning that I hate to be dependent on others instead of myself; I should be taking care of Herb and Kara, not the other way around!  I am learning that if and when I'm fully on my own feet again, I will never take that blessing for granted.  And I'm learning that even from a wheelchair forced on me by pain, there are still things to be thankful for and to laugh about--it's just that my perspective is a little bit different from down here.  And I hope that Jean-Marc will really spoil Jenny now that she's home because she deserves it!


  1. Hope Tai is doing well...and of course, you Mom! Hope your surgery goes well. Keep us posted.

  2. Tai is fine. He's the first one that comes running when we call the dogs. He's getting some petting, too, though not as much as he gets at home, I'm sure. The four big dogs are still sharing that hairy deer skull, though Zephyr doesn't get it very often! I'm doing much better since I have the wheelchair to get around in and the crutches for places the WC doesn't go.

  3. She was a pretty duck.

    And ouch, the knee! Ow! I hope it all goes fine.

  4. Thanks, Brent. She had such a fun personality!

    The knee is still ouch-y & has me in a wheelchair to get around the house (I'm not getting out to the barn at all), but it looks like I don't need surgery, just some pretty thorough physical therapy. Not looking forward to that! But I do want to get back on my feet. That will be my mantra!

  5. Maybe you can put some mountain bike tires on the chair and go wheeling through the paddocks?

  6. I promise not to post those pictures, Brent! :)


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