Thursday, January 12, 2012
The Ram Story
My girls LOVE to hear a good story. On a daily basis we hear, "Tell me a story when you were a little girl!" And I usually oblige. I understand their love of storytelling because I was the same way when I was young. I loved hearing stories of my parents' childhoods. Like my mom's story about making "toothpaste" in the bathroom sink using everything from peanut butter to mouthwash. Or my dad's story about his beloved horse, RIP. I'll save those two for another blog post. Today, I am going to tell you another one of my favorite stories, and a favorite of my girls' too. We call it "The Ram Story". And it goes like this....
When I was about six years old, my mom and dad and I went on an overnight camping trip on the Brazos River near Graham, Texas. We lived in Graham at the time, and the Brazos is a popular river to camp near, canoe or float down, go fishing in,etc. For this trip, we decided to go canoeing. We packed light, just a tent, some sleeping bags, and a few food essentials. Soon we headed out on our adventure. My dad and mom sat at the ends of the canoe guiding our journey, while I relaxed in the middle. I remember that it was warm and humid, the sky overcast and cloudy, and brilliantly colored dragonflies kept landing on the canoe's edge.
Eventually we found a small island in the middle of the river just the right size for us to set up camp. Dinner was cooked up on our small stove, and we spent the night snuggled together in our tent, listening to the summer sounds around us. I felt so safe sleeping between my mom and dad, warm and cozy in my sleeping bag.
The next day, we packed up and set out int the canoe once again. Shortly after we were cruising down the river, we heard a strange noise. Thankfully, the current was not too strong, and we slowed down, straining our ears to hear the noise again. There it was! We heard it again! It sounded like an injured animal, so we listened again, our eyes straining to see the shoreline. We paddled over to the side where the noise was coming from and discovered a large ram stuck in a barbed wire fence. My dad paddled us close enough so that the front of the canoe came to rest on the dry ground. He stepped out and moved carefully toward the scared animal. We didn't know how long the poor thing had been there. A few days maybe. He had to be hungry and fearful and on edge. My dad has a way with animals, though, and after a few "Shhh...Shhhh..." noises, the ram settled down and allowed my dad to help free him from the wire fence. I imagine there was a moment where the ram looked my dad in the eyes and they mentally shared an exchange of words.
Ram, "Thank you for saving my life, Sir. I am eternally grateful."
Dad, "It was my pleasure, noble creature. Go live in peace."
My parents named the ram "Abraham" and the story has lived on for years as we tell it over and over to my girls. We imagine that Old Abe had a long and wonderful life. Perhaps even now, if you were to take a trip to Texas, you might see one of his offspring proudly standing on the banks of the Brazos River.