A Merry Lucius Christmas

Hey Y’all. To all y’all that celebrate Christmas, I hope you have your gifts ready and you’re on the road if you’re travlin’. Our children are headin’ in this weekend, so Darla has been a might busy with the dustin’, cookin’ and movin’ furniture around so our kids have bedrooms to sleep in. We tend to change them bedrooms into other things as the door hits their butts on the way out.

I try to help where I can. Most days I head out to the barn early and check to make sure there ain’t nothin’ happenin’. We tend to get a lot of cold nights and chilly rain this time of year. It’s always smart to check on the equipment, Darla’s favorite turkey, and a few chickens I have penned up. At least that’s what we normally do. Yesterday mornin’ was a bit different.

Darla wanted to come out with me to check on that turkey of hers. I reckon she wants to make sure I won’t put him on the Christmas meal. We drove on out about 5:30 am. I like to get my chores done early so I can enjoy the day. Darla let me know her version of early was closer to ten.

When we pulled up the truck lights shined on the barn doors, and I stopped that vehicle cold. Right there in front of us was an opened door. Now I might be gettin’ a bit old, but I never leave a door open. So, I knew we were lookin’ at trouble. I reached over and grabbed my pistol out of the glove box, and Darla got the shotgun off the rack behind us. She had me lead the way, and we snuck up real quiet.

Now I had me a flashlight, but I left it off. I know my way around my barn. We stepped on in that opened door and stopped. We weren’t so much as breathin’. A mouse couldn’t have crawled across that barn without us knowin’. In fact, we heard a couple while we was standing there. I heard the hay rustle on the ground near the feedin’ trough and turned on the flashlight with my gun leveled. What I saw plumb took the air out of me and I holstered my weapon immediately. Darla walked up next to me with her shotgun at her side.

“You see that?” she asked me.

“I reckon so.” Was all I could get out.

There in front of us was a young girl. She was dressed in torn old street rags. I supposed she’d run away from home. Her clothes were a bit bloodied and stained. The girl was shiverin’ and pale. She’d taken her old ragged coat and covered a baby that was layin’ in the feed trough. It looked newborn on account of the little infant was still steamin’ from its head and looked gooey. Darla ran over and took off her coat and covered the woman. I took off my coat and gave it to Darla. She checked the baby and wrapped it up better. Darla smiled at me and said, “It’s a boy.” Then she snuggled that woman’s baby and we all huddled in close to try and keep everyone warm while I called 911 on my cell phone.

The woman reached for her baby. Darla handed the little fella to her and asked the woman her name. She replied in a weak voice, “Mary.”

You talk about a cold chill. I bet I looked as pale as Darla when we heard that name. Just then the baby started coughin’ and chokin’. The 911 operator said to check the nose. It was all plugged up with mucus. The operator told me to suck it out. I was all in a panic. That old barn just had mowin’ machines, copper tubing, and hay. I was desperate, so I did the first thing that popped into my head. I grabbed that baby from Mary and sucked on his nose. That little fella lets out a squeak and was breathin’ normal again.

I was so happy ’til it dawned on me what was in my mouth. I handed Mary back her boy and spit that stuff out of my mouth. Lawd it was disgustin’!  I mean, I’ve had bovine boogers sneezed on me that weren’t that bad. I reached behind and raised a board where I keep some shine for emergencies. I gargled and spit half a quart before my mouth felt right again. That got Darla and Mary laughin’. Somethin’ tells me Mary hadn’t laughed in a long time.

We asked her how she ended up in our barn. She said she’d run away from home a year ago, and met this fella she thought was a good man. Turns out he was just a sex slave trader. He pimped her out ’til she got pregnant, and then told her to abort her baby or leave when she was showin’ too much, so she left. Mary was trying to get home, hopin’ her folks would take her back in.

Darla asked if she wanted to call home. Mary was weak but said she really wanted to talk with her folks. We dialed up the number she gave us on Darla’s phone and they started talkin’ for a minute. Mary hung up and said her folks would be down this way directly. About that time the siren’s could be heard comin’ up the farm road. Mary smiled, but then her eyes rolled back and she passed out.

I picked up the baby off Mary’s chest, and Darla started slappin’ her. A moment later the EMTs came in. I was concerned they might think we were beatin’ her up, but fortunately, they knew better. The EMT said Mary had lost right much blood but should be okay. After they took care of Mary the EMTs got that baby good and warm, and off they all went to the hospital.

Darla and I are headin’ over Christmas to check on Mary and meet her parents. She called here this mornin’ and said she wanted to name the baby after me. She’s callin’ him Luke, since that’s another form of Lucius. I’m prouder than a peacock in a flock of peahens.

Darla and I hope y’all have a Merry a Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Y’all be good.


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