She wandered up one day out of the blue, skinny as can be and with a hurt foot. We didn’t want her to stay because we already had more than we could take care of. But she looked so pitiful, we had to at least give her a drink of water. She drank like she hadn’t had any liquid for days and she looked so grateful that we had taken pity on her, we couldn’t help but want to help her. Due to the poor state of her body, we figured she hadn’t eaten in days, but we didn’t want to encourage her to stick around so we left our generosity at water and nothing else. She had a mean wound on her foot and she hobbled pitifully around but she didn’t complain about it. She was simply grateful for the water we had given her.
The next day we returned home to find her there, waiting for us. She looked at us with soulful eyes, somewhat begging but not being too obvious about it. We couldn’t ignore the fact that she was still hungry. We waited a while but our consciences took over and we broke down and made the drive into town to purchase food so she could have a good meal - then be on her way. But she didn’t leave. She waited patiently as we cleaned a bowl and poured her food. She didn’t try to rush us, she was too polite for that. Once we had provided her with food, she ate like it was going to be her last meal. She inhaled her meal in record time and our hearts went out to her for being so hungry.
Due to the lack of food and drink, she was weak and could barely remain standing so we bathed her and put medicine on her injured foot and gave her a place to sleep, and she seemed to be very grateful for such a small act of kindness. The next day we left and wondered as we were driving off if she’d be there when we returned.
Driving in the front gate, there was no sign of her. It wasn’t until I had parked the car and gotten out that I saw her sitting there, just waiting. She looked so trusting as if I would never do anything mean to her and she seemed happy to see me. The first thing I did was to make sure she had something cool to drink - with lots of ice because it was hot outside and she had been waiting in the heat all day for someone to return. She was never pushy and greedy and she seemed to be extremely happy for whatever kindness I extended towards her. Her foot was red and swollen and obviously painful but she let me doctor it without a single whimper. Again, she seemed grateful that I took the time to notice her and give her some kind of kindness.
I fed her again and again she ate as if it were her last meal. I felt saddened by the fact that she appeared to have such a hard life, and I had it so good compared to her. I was almost embarrassed by her gratitude. I mean, how could I not help her? I would hope that someone would help me if I were in the same situation. That’s what people do...help each other.
I took a closer look at her and noticed that she had sores all over her pitiful body. ‘What had happened to this girl’ I wondered. Who would be so heartless as to put her out, cast off as useless refuge? Upon closer inspection, I noticed fleas in her hair. I looked more closely at the sad state of her health and again was overwhelmed with sadness. I decided right then and there and it was going to be my mission to nurse her back to health and try to make her happy.
Since she didn’t seem to know her name, I decided to call her Lucille after the name of B.B. King’s famous guitar. It was black and white and so was she. I told Manchild later that I had already fallen in love with her and that I had given her a name. He chuckled and took It in stride. I guess in his profession, he’s used to seeing lots of people and things down on their luck and he has to harden his heart a little to avoid being depressed all of the time. But I’m not that way.
I made the mistake of telling kidlet #2 about her and of course, instantly she wanted me to introduce them. I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea because if I did, that would be the end of it. Lucille would be living with us forever. On the other hand, I couldn’t condemn Lucille to certain death, either. I wondered how I was going to afford having another mouth to feed but in my heart of hearts, I knew I’d find a way to make it work, I had to. I already loved her and she had stolen my heart in under an hour.
I firmly believe that we are put on this earth to nurture and love so who was I to play God? I was simply following my destiny. Life isn’t simple and it isn’t always easy but this was one decision that came very easily. I had to help her.
Meet my new love, Lucille.