Scrap the formulae... Nan knows best. Writing 4 Kids contest, May 2021
|His huge brown eyes looked up at her, love pouring out of them. Like melting chocolate, she thought. Like my melting heart whenever I look deep inside them. I remember when someone wrote they were the ‘windows to the soul’. Sarah bent her head down to whisper sweet, soothing words into his ears. He always relaxed when her voice softened so lovingly, and she kissed the top of his head. She was near; that was all that mattered to him.
Unexpected sadness filled her own eyes with tears, and she cuddled him closer as she said out loud, “Ohh babe, what are we going to do?”
It had been so easy in the city. All the formula ingredients for his special milk diet were freely available from their local health food store. And when their favourite chemist came on board as well, he happily ordered the rare ingredients exclusively for the anxious new parents. All as sweet as could be… until they moved to the country to learn to farm. That part was working exceptionally well, but not so feeding their baby.
Special supplies were erratic at best, and non-existent at worst in that small country town; their weekly shopping hub. Sarah was feeling desperate, watching her stores dwindle alarmingly. Any changes to the essential 3-4 hourly feeding routine resulted in dire consequences, as she’d found recently. She shook her head ruefully as she thought of disposable nappies. Not her usual choice, even in the city, but how essential they’d proven in that latest and greatest emergency! And baby wet wipes. That 24-hour chemist was such a blessing, time after time.
Abruptly Sarah’s face brightened, and she sat up tall in her chair, causing sudden alarm in the babe—instantly wide awake now, eyes huge again. Sarah’s chin lifted and her glance was triumphant as she blurted out, “Goat’s milk! That’s what we need!”
“Goat’s milk?” Dan looked momentarily confused. “Hang on! Is that what Mrs. Sanderson told us? For all kinds of allergies, AND digestion problems—”
“AND babes with special needs. Put them on a diet of goat’s milk. That’s what she said.” Sarah’s face glowed with the memory of that amazing lady. Not an official nutritionist, but her knowledge of baby formulas was exceptional. After many years of raising countless small, unwanted souls, she was an expert in her field. Sarah shook her head wonderingly. “What would we ever have done without her to guide us? AND give us the recipe along with a healthy portion of formula to get us started?”
Sarah’s dreamy moment evaporated when her eyes flicked to Dan’s face. As quickly as it had lit up, his mouth now tightened, ends pulled down in a grimace of frustration. “… but how on earth can we get a goat out here?” Dan could only think of sheep farmers in their district. And he’d not seen any goats for sale at the weekly stock market, either.
Undeterred, and with her usual optimism, Sarah shrugged and said, ‘We’ll find her. Just wait and see. I will not lose this baby of ours.”
Eventually, with heart-rending pleas spread far and wide, they found her. Just when they were despairing of success, and the fabulous formula was at an alarmingly low level, they found her. She bore the strikingly original name of Nan, and because of her ease of milking, she became their absolute Earth Nanny. They learned to raise all their rescues on pure goat’s milk, from their first drink, tucked in the loving arms of a human being.
“… and not only all the baby kangaroos. It didn’t matter who you tried that first life-saving liquor on - animal OR human.” Dan chuckled as he slipped his arm around Sarah and their precious little one — Snoopy, the baby kangaroo.
(May prompt: sign — Goats for Sale
Write a children's story inspired by the image.
Stories only! No word count/limit… 'whatever works!')