snowball

My beloved pet when I was a child was a little lamb that my father brought home.  Its mother had rejected it at birth and the minute I laid eyes on the tiny ball of fur I became her surrogate kid/mom.

I named her Snowball because all you could see was a tiny pink nose and a ball of white fur.  She was so tiny that she had to be bottle fed so my mother and father kept her in the house until she got a little older.

Snowball grew fast and before long my father built a big box to house her in… out in one of our sheds so she would be safe at night.

Every morning, I would get up, and wolf down my breakfast so I could go bottle feed Snowball and let her out for the day.

Snowball would hear me coming and I could hear her calling for me to hurry up!  Her little tail would swish back and forth in eagerness as she ate her breakfast.  I was so in love with her.

We would spend the day romping in the yard and playing in the hills that surrounded our house.

When I would have to go inside the house she would patiently wait on me to join her once again.

When Snowball grew into her juvenile stage things got a little more complicated because Snowball did not realize that she was a lamb and she felt that she belonged inside the house with the rest of the humans.

This caused an event of comical errors for my mother, however, my mother, Margie Robinette, did not have a sense of humor when it came to Snowball’s antics!

Mom was always patching our front and back screen doors because Snowball would rip right through them to get inside the house with her humans!

Mom would scold Snowball and would start chasing her with a broom to shrew her out of the house, however, Snowball through she was playing and she would start chasing mom!

It was a sight to see, when mom was being chased around the kitchen table by a lamb that was ‘crow hopping’ which looked like Tigger bouncing around the kitchen.  She would let out a loud Blaaaaaaaaaaah! Baaaaaaaaah! And around and round they would go until Snowball took off after me as I ran to intercept her from mom and the broom!

On one occasion mom was painting a bedroom floor.  I remember the look of pure horror that crossed mom’s face when she heard Baaaaah, followed by the sound of the back porch screen ripping.

Snowball zips right past mom and once Snowball’s hooves hit the painted floor her  legs started slipping and sliding on the painted floor.  It would have reminded you of the movie Bambi when he first was slipping and sliding on ice.

Mom was horror-struck, and she started slipping and sliding on her painted floor as she tried to contain Snowball.  To make matters worse, Snowball jumped upon the bed and little gray hoof prints were all over her white bedspread!

Meanwhile, I am desperately calling Snowball to come to me which she finally did but as we ran out of the house there were little gray hooves prints all through the house!

It took mom over two hours to stop preaching about all the things she was going to do to that lamb once she got the mess cleaned up!

Snowball, you really did it this time!  We are in deep trouble!  We will have to stay out of sight until mom cools off and that is going to take a really long time!

I grew up in a Primitive Baptist family and it was always a Sunday tradition for our pastor to take turns eating dinner with families in his congregation.

When our turn rolled around for the pastor and his wife to visit… mom would clean house like a fiend!  All six of us kids were under the threat of death if we messed up the house.  We were a picture of perfection that was right out of Norman Rockwell painting when minister and his wife visited!

The minister and his wife were settled into the living room and were exchanging pleasantries with my parents.  All six of us were also gathered around and were on our best behavior (again under threat of death).  Yes, we looked like the perfect family….until……

We all heard the very distinctive sound of Baaaaaaaaaah, Baaaaaaaaaaah, which at that moment was equal to the sound of the Emergency Alert System going off!   Next, we heard the ripping sound of the screen door and we all automatically look at mom!  Who at that moment looked like she was stuck in a really bad nightmare and desperately wanted to wake up!

Snowball came bouncing in the house, she lets out another loud, Baaaaaaah…Baaaaaaaaaaa… She jumps upon an end table that she uses as a spring-board as she went airborne and landed in the preacher’s wife’s lap!

The preacher’s wife let out a loud scream that was mingled with…Baaaaaaaaah. That was followed by the preacher’s wife legs flying up over her head  as Snowball jumps into the top of the sofa and ran the length of it before jumping to the floor!

All six of the Norman Rockwell children were trying to catch Snowball as mom let out a loud, long, drawn out, screech which she directed at my father, “Kennnnnneeeeeeeth doooooooooo sommmmmmmme thinggggggggggg (Kenneth do something)!”

Pure carnage was taking place in the living room, as we were all scrambling to subdue  Snowball.  The preacher was consoling his wife, and mom was screaming at dad!

I finally get Snowball and we make a very speedy exit.  This time I took him to the hills overlooking the house because I knew that I had to put some distance between my mom and Snowball!

Boy, Snowball, we are in it deep again!

It wasn’t long when I saw the minister and his wife leaving in their car.

I bet that was the shortest visit with his congregational flock on record!

I stayed out with Snowball for hours because I was too sacred for her safety to go near the house, but as it got close to dark I sneaked her into her house in the shed.

When I was creeping into the house to test the waters with mom, I got the biggest surprise of my life!  My family was sitting at the kitchen table doubling over with laughter as they recalled the events of the day and that was the first time I had ever heard mom laugh about something Snowball had done!   God sure does work in mysterious ways!

I decided then and there that Snowball had 9 lives because I was sure she had used them all up and was not going to survive the day!

When Snowball became an adult my father killed her and butchered her for meat.

Killing Snowball was a very traumatic thing for me to experience and I grieved for a long time but I would rather not focus on the hurt of losing her and just remember how much fun she was.

Snowball was my best friend.

Donna Faye, CDP

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