So that you can get the flavor of what is to follow, I’ll do my best to describe Jamie.
Jamie was in his late-thirties, had red hair and a red beard. He mostly wore overalls. He is a people-person, like me, and neither one of us had any racial prejudices. He is white and I am black. Now, I never liked those labels. Jamie is a shade of pinkish-beige. I am a light brown color. In the sun, we both turn red.
Jamie was born in the country, loved the country and believed that he could do most anything. He is adventurous, willing to take risks and loves animals. He had a farm with chickens, turkeys, horses and rabbits. He was mix-breeding Jack Russells and Chihuahuas, as well as, raising an odd assortment of other dogs. Jamie once caught a raccoon at my farm with a live trap and took it home to raise in a cage on his dining room table. The raccoon got too scrappy and had to be put outside.
I met Jamie, when I had a bunch of chickens that were running wild over at my property, eating the cats’ food and congregating in all the walking and play areas for the kids. I put an ad in the paper that said “If you can catch em, you can have em!” Jamie showed up to survey the situation; then he came back that evening while the chickens were roosting and caught six of the seven chickens.
Some time later, I put another ad in the paper for dead trees on my property; “You cut it, haul it and you can have it.” Jamie showed up!
Jamie didn’t believe in the unnecessary expenditure of money. When I first met Jamie, he was missing several teeth in the front of his mouth. A couple of years later, he stopped by our farm and told me he was going to Tennessee to get some teeth; they had a free program down there. Sure enough, a little while later, Jamie had some teeth!
So, back at the Vet’s, we closed the hutch of the van and drove to Jamie’s farm. Jamie wasn’t home, so we tied Squanto to a tree and left a note on Jamie’s door.
Squanto has gangrene. Please shoot him and put him in your pasture. Here’s $10.00, if you need more please call me.
We said our good-byes to Squanto and left.
Two hours later, Jamie called. “Shar, I can save Squanto!”
“What do you mean save him?”
“Operate on him!”
“Floyd!! Get on the line! Jamie says he can save Squanto!”
When Floyd got on the line, Jamie went on to say that he believed he could amputate the leg and care for him. “I’ve seen deer in the woods with three legs and no one was caring for them. I had a chicken that lost a leg and I took a gun shell and made a protheses for it. It’s walking around all right.”
I was nearly convinced; I just needed a few more details. “Jamie, what are you going to use to cut the leg?”
“My sawzall.” (For my city readers, this is an electric reciprocating saw that will cut through steel, wood, bone, anything.)
“What are you going to use as an antibiotic after the surgery?”
“I have ten vials of penicillin left from a horse that was sick.”
“What about the anesthesia?’
“I’m going to work fast!”
Now, for Floyd’s only comment, “Shar, you go over and hold the goat down.”
Jamie said, cheerily, that he had a friend who was going to help him.
I said, “Go on and do it. We’ll be praying on this end.”
Now, Jamie’s girlfriend was a nurse. Jamie was so pumped up about this surgery that he called her on her job! She was horrified and cried out,
“Jamie, you can’t use a sawzall to do surgery! The goat might get infected!”
But Dr. Jamie, as he began to call himself, had the answer for that, “I’m gonna use a new blade!”
Meanwhile, back at our house, we were praying for Jamie and Squanto. After, an hour, we called Jamie.
“The operation was a success. He really yelled when I cut him. My friend nearly passed out from the goat yelling and the blood, but Squanto is fine. The whole procedure only took two minutes from cutting to bandaging. Squanto was so relieved to have that leg not touching the ground and hurting that when it was over, he followed me back to the house.”
We were elated. Especially Joel and Ruth!
After a couple of days, we went to see Squanto. He looked fine. I took some comfrey leaves from my garden to wrap around the wound so that it would heal faster.
Near the end of the ten days (remember the ten vials of pencillin), I began to think about bringing Squanto home. Then the realization hit me like a ton of bricks! The “code of the hills” says that if I took Squanto to Jamie to kill, and Jamie saved him, then Squanto is Jamie’s goat. On top of this, Dr. Jamie was getting a lot of notoriety out of this amazing feat of surgery. People were actually driving by to see the three-legged goat.
So, with little hope, I called Jamie. He confirmed the “code of the hills” and said he’d have to think about selling Squanto back to me. However, several things were working in my favor. It was the winter holidays and after all the merriment, Dr. Jamie’s high may wear off. Then, Jamie had only that one goat. He had gotten out of the goat raising business when he originally sold Squanto and some other goats to me. So I bided my time.
Sure enough in January, Jamie sold Squanto back to me for $50.00. That was the price of the vials of pencilin and the hay Squanto ate.
Squanto was healthy, lively and ran with my other goats for the two years we remained in Michigan.
A month before we moved from Michigan to Alabama, in June 2008, we had a farm auction. The auctioneers ran newspaper and internet ads that said:
Everything for sale: real estate, art work and a three-legged goat!
Nearly two hundred people came to the auction. 123 persons signed up for bid numbers. We had a food wagon, porta-potty, and two simultaneous auctioneers. It was a great time to see all of our neighbors and friends. We had fun and made money.
Squanto was sold to an auctioneer’s wife for $20.00. She bought him as a pet for her ten-year-old son. Some other items sold as follows:
- Nanny goat and one-day old tripets, $52.50
- Nanny goat and one-week old kid, $35.00
- Month old kid, $30.00
- Nanny goat, $20.00
- Rhode Island Red Rooster, $9.00
- Mounted Boar’s head, $100.00
- Wooden Carosel Horse (broken), $320.00
Please comment on your favorite part or character of this story!
Any questions for me?
If you’re never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances. Julia Sorel