Little Baby Z looked very bad yesterday morning. She had three shots of medicine: one for tetanus prevention, one to stop other kinds of infection, and one of vitamin B. She was shivering and lethargic and didn’t notice when the farmer moved her inside to the baby nursery.
She didn’t make even a peep, much less offer the kind of Grand Prix tantrum* she and her mother have down to an art form. Instead she just lay and shivered, eyes foggy and blank.
The farmer put a sweater on her. She kept shivering. The farmer put another sweater on top of the first sweater. She looked stylish – pink and white crocheted jacket over a black terrycloth undervest - but quite miserable.
The baby nursery is a little pen on the kitchen floor of the cottage. The pen is about four feet square and about two feet high and bedded with nice fluffy straw. It sits a few feet away from the woodstove so it can be made quite cozy.
The farmer put Baby Z in the baby nursery and left to do chores, checking back perdiodically. On the fourth check, late in the afternoon, the farmer coaxed her into drinking a large bottle of warm milk.
She seemed to wake up a little, and looked around in surprise, wearing the expression of the amnesia patient on a bad tv show – where am I? - before settling back to sleep.
On the fifth bed check, Baby Z was not in the baby pen. She had jumped over the fence and gone to look for her friends, leaving a trail of baby goat pee throughout the cottage and knocking over a stack of magazines used to start fires in the woodstove, then eating – or perhaps just chewing and spitting out - part of a New Yorker** cover.
She was dancing on the coffee table in the living room when finally apprehended.
And that’s why it is so important to drink your milk.
* When they add tantrums to the Olympics, bet on these two for Gold and Silver.
** (Editor’s note: do not use New Yorkers to start fires. It is not the right kind of paper. We know that. We ran out of newspaper inserts.)