I used to think I had an extensive vocabulary from reading a million books beginning at a very young age. Now I realize while I technically know of a lot of words and maybe how to use them correctly in a sentence because I get the general gist, I have no idea what the true definition is of way too many words in my so-called vocabulary bank. So with the help of my computer’s word Look Up function, Kindle’s built-in dictionary, and the abundance of time that comes with quitting one’s job, I’ve been looking up every word I come across, simple, complex, foreign, strange…any word I couldn’t use safely in a verbal conversation in fear of someone asking me to define it and getting caught: the girl who talks a lot, but doesn’t have a clue what she’s saying.
I was trying to find an appropriate word to describe my most recent experience with Curly: Chaos with Curly? The Curly Incident? The Curly Catastrophe? And then in popped ‘snafu.’ Snafu. Funny to type. Funnier to say. I get the gist of snafu, but since getting the gist is no longer good enough, I right-clicked and looked it up, particularly pleased with what Wikipedia had to say:
Upon entomological investigation, I discovered the term was born during WWII as an acronym of that phrase: situation normal: all f*cked up, which summed up the chaos and confusion of the war from an individual soldier’s point of view.
So if you’ve been following my little journey, you’re aware I am the recent mother of two, Mo and Curly. We’ve been spending our days in bliss with the barn walls defining and dividing my two lives: inside I was a mom; outside, I was a childless volunteer on the farm, leaving in a few days, totally unattached.
Those walls established much-needed boundaries. Within, I was the loving Mum of cuddly lambs, daydreaming about Mo and Curly running off together as newlyweds to start a little lambkin family of their own someday. When I stepped outside, I became a Regular Human, an active participant in the Circle of Life, where sheep don’t get married because they get eaten. And because sheep don’t get married. Those walls were necessary.
Little did I know, Curly needed those walls too, because once removed…things got weird(er).
That brings me to The Curly Snafu. Yesterday we moved the two mama sheep, their little lambkins and Curly (nobody’s lambkin…sad face) to the little pasture next to the house (note: not the same pasture party Curly’s good-for-nothing mother ran off to join), as Mo and Curly still need artificial milk, which they now get from a hanging bucket with rubber teats instead of from me and a Coke bottle with a rubber teat.
Things went smoothly at first; the sheep followed Kai to the pasture, we filled the bucket, Mo and Curly drank from the bucket teats. All good in the sheep hood. I stepped over the metal fence and started up the rocky hillside to the house.
I turned around to see Curly pacing quickly back and forth in a panic, head-butting the fence, actually putting his front legs on the metals grates, as if to climb his way out.
Aww, so cute. He really thinks I’m his mom. I came back, gave him one last head rub and turned around, trying to ignore the baaaing at my back. The barn doors had provided a visual barrier. An actual separation. I could always hear Curly, but never had to see him panic. I felt bad. But I was also hungry. It was lunch time, and I needed to jump back to a Regular Human, with or without those barn doors.
And then I saw Curly bound happily past, up the hill, stopping just in front of me. He looked back at me expectantly. Where we going? I carried him back down and over the fence and watched as he wiggled his fat body through the gaps in the wire part of the fence. I put him back. He wiggled out. I put him back. He wiggled out. I put him back. And ran.
Oh shit. He really thinks I’m his mom.
Lill walked into the kitchen where I was making a sandwich, trying to pretend there wasn’t a lamb waiting for me outside.
“There is a little sheep at the door.”
Uhhh….what am I supposed to do? He’s small enough to fit through the gaps in the wire fence. Every time I put him back, he just squeezes his chubby self out. And can I blame him? Everyone in there has a buddy, everybody but poor little Curly. Curly whirly. Oh, what the hell.
I shushed James Earl Jones/Mufasa as their Circle of Life tsk-tsk’d my decision and spent the rest of the beautiful day with Curly. We ate lunch, dozed in the sun, read a few chapters, took awkward selfies, wondered what that four-legged creature staring at us was (dog), took a walk, pondered life…just me and Curly for a good solid five hours. Lill commented on how his tail wagged when I spoke to him. Kai first commented on how I had found a new best friend. Five hours later, with Curly still sitting at my side in the yard, he laughed and asked me if I had found a problem.
I won’t tell you how I managed to keep in him in the pasture with his people, but I am not proud of it. I tricked him. I deserted him. I am no better than his terrible real mom. But at least I have an excuse. I am a Regular Human.
We had a good day, me and Curly. We had a damn good day.
Situation Normal: All F*cked Up.