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The Click to view full size imageaby Hunt

Sharman Ramsey

The baby next to the B in Lily's alphabet book looked pink and pretty just like Lily knew her baby would look.  Kevin across the street had a new baby and so did Susan next door.  Lily wanted one, too.

Last night Lily dreamed her baby had come.  The postman had brought it to the front door and left it.  She heard it crying!  Lily's eyes flew open to see the sun streaming through her bedroom window.  She ran downstairs and dragged her mother to the front door.

"But Lily," she said.  "I didn't hear the doorbell ring." 

"Mommy, please.  It's crying.  Hurry up."

Her mother shrugged her shoulders and opened the door.

 Lily's cat Daisy ran past them to lap up the milk out of her bowl in the kitchen and crunch a bit on her cat food.    "See, Lily.  It's nothing but Daisy. There's no baby here."

Lily was so disappointed.

Daisy then rejoined her kittens in the box in the broom closet.  Lily watched as each little kitten arranged itself to suck and paw their mother.  Her mother had told her that was how kitties ate their breakfast. 

Mommy pulled her robe tight about her in the cold and walked down to the mailbox to check the mail.  Her mother had gotten such a big tummy lately she walked more like a duck than a mommy.  Lily watched her mother adjust the big red Christmas bow on the mailbox.

"Oh, look.  The Penney’s catalog has arrived.  I love looking through here.  They have just about anything anyone could want!" her mother exclaimed.

Lily's mother took the catalog into the kitchen.  After she had served Lily her cereal she sat on the stool at the kitchen bar next to Lily and looked through the catalogue.

If Penney’s has everything, maybe that's where Kevin and Susan's mothers got their babies, Lily thought.  Her mother soon went off to make up beds and left the catalog there on the counter.  Lily missed Sesame Street that morning studying each page for babies.  All she found was baby furniture.

She got her mother to read the writing on the page.

"No, Lily, the baby does not come with that bassinette."

Lily asked her mama where people got babies.  Her mama said, "I told you.  The baby is in Mommy's tummy."

Lily knew that couldn't be true.  She and Mommy took baths together and she knew for a fact that mommies did not come with zippers or buttons.

"Mommy," Lily said with disbelief, "How could a baby get in there?"

Lily's mother raised her eyebrows.  She paused for a moment as if searching for something to say.  Then she leaned back in the rocking chair and said, "Ask your Daddy."

Lily waited for her Daddy to come home.  Meanwhile strange noises came from under the kitchen sink.  That would be a good hiding place for a baby.  Lily held her breath and opened the cabinet door.

"Daisy!  What are you doing in there?"  Lily's said, perplexed that her fat cat would be hiding under the sink. Daisy picked up a black and white kitten she’d been trying to hide and took it back to the box.  Lily’s mommy said Daisy was trying to put the kittens someplace safe.

“The box is safe, Mommy,” Lily said. 

“We peek into the box, Lily.  Daisy is afraid we’ll take one of her kittens.” 

Lily put on her coat and took Daisy out to the swing on the front porch to wait for Daddy to come home.  Daisy wanted attention and let Lily know by rubbing in and out and around her legs

When at last he arrived at home, Daddy lifted both Lily and Daisy up in his arms.  "What's my big girl been up to this morning?" he asked, settling back into the swing..

"Daddy, where did Susan and Kevin get their babies?"

Her daddy turned real red in the face and stopped mid swing.  "I guess the stork brought them and dropped them down the chimney," he said.  He put Lily and Daisy down quickly and hurried in to Mama.

Kevin didn't have a chimney at this house.  They had discussed that last Christmas when they tried to figure out how Santa Claus got in. Lily was about to decide she had been a stray that just took up at their house like Daisy had. 

Poor Mama and Daddy, if Lily didn't find out where to get babies, they'd never have any more babies in their house.

I'll just ask Kevin where his mama got theirs, she thought.  Until then, she'd keep a close check on the front door and under the sink, just in case.

Lily got the chance to ask Kevin just a couple of days later.

"Out of the cabbage patch," Kevin answered confidently.  "I got a book with my Cabbage Patch doll that shows babies coming out of cabbages in a garden." 

Lily shook her head.  She thought that was a pretty dirty and disgusting way to get a baby.

Grandmother arrived that day for a visit.  Grandmother had been around a long time.  Lily was sure she would know how to get a baby.

"Why, Lily, God sends us babies.  When you say your prayers, you must remember to ask God."  Her eyes twinkled.  “I'm sure he will answer your prayer very soon."

It must be like those 800 numbers you call to order stuff on TV.  If Grandmother said it would work, it was worth a try.  Lily knelt beside her bed every night before going to sleep and prayed just as hard as she could.  It was hard to tell if she was getting a busy signal like they had when they called about those blocks she saw advertised, so she prayed along during the day just to be sure she got through.

And, to cover all the angles, when Lily went to the mall to talk to Santa, she asked him to bring her a real live baby.

"Be careful what you ask for, little lady.  You're liable to get it.  And with a baby, there are no returns."  His eyes twinkled at her mother.  He gave Lily a Santa ring and a peppermint stick.

One morning her Daddy rushed Lily over to Kevin's house while it was still dark outside.  She was all tucked into Kevin's extra sleep-over bed when she realized her Daddy had told Kevin's mother the baby was coming. 

He must have found out where babies come from!

Liz Beth crawled out of bed and stood by the front window.  It was hours before Daddy came to get Lily.  They drove past the Post Office where Lily had figured God made the deliveries, but they didn't stop.  Finally they came to the hospital where Daddy parked the car.  Lily's looked on the roof.  It did have chimneys so the stork could make a delivery. 

But, there was no Cabbage Patch!  Kevin was wrong and she'd be sure to tell him. 

Daddy picked her up to look in a window where they kept the babies in clear boxes on wheels.

There were rows and rows of babies from which to make their selection.  She looked them over seriously.  She was just about to point out the one she wanted when Daddy pointed to the biggest and ugliest one of all.

"That's George, Lily.  He’s your new little brother."

Well, Lily thought.  That's not the one I would pick.  George was already yelling and screaming.  Lily looked at Daddy.  He was smiling.  She guessed this was his turn.  Next time would be her turn.  She'd do a better job.

Mommy must have picked me, she thought.  Next time she'd order a girl that didn't make so much noise.

The nurse picked the baby squalling and kicking up out of the box and carried him down the hall to Mommy's room.  Lily and her Daddy followed.  The nurse laid the baby next to Mommy.

The baby rooted around sniffing for something.  He found Mommy's booby and started sucking loudly.  He made loud grunting noises of pure pleasure and batted at Mommy’s blue bird tattoo.

Lily was shocked.  Who knew that babies would eat their breakfast like kittens did!

But Mommy and Daddy smiled happily at one another.

This was not something Lily had considered when she prayed for that baby.  Nobody was paying a bit of attention to her.  She realized now what Santa meant when he told her to be careful what she asked for.

Maybe they could just put him on layaway.  "Daddy, can't we leave him here till he can sit at the table?"

Lily's mommy and daddy just laughed.

Soon a nurse came to take the baby back to the nursery.  Lily looked at her closely.  This was not the same nurse that brought their baby to Mommy.

"Poor little fellow," she heard Mommy say.  "His eye is all swollen from where they had to use forceps to pull him out."

My goodness, thought Lily.  He must have gotten stuck in the chimney when the stork dropped him.  That must have been awful!  Lily wondered how they knew he was theirs.  Maybe God put a tag on him like Mommy had put on all her presents under the tree at home.

Lily stuck her head out the door and watched the nurse go down the empty hall.  Instead of going to the nursery, the nurse slipped out the door that Lily knew led to the parking lot.  That was how she and Daddy had come in.  Lily hurried to the window in Mommy's room.  That woman was taking their baby outside in the cold.  Without a coat.

Lily got scared.  She wouldn't want that woman taking her away, even if she was a nurse. 

"Daddy, where is that woman taking our baby?"

Daddy looked out the window and saw the woman getting into a car.  He ran from the room and bounded down the back stairs.  Lily's mother began screaming and pressed the nurse's button.

Lily watched from the window as Daddy caught up with the car. Mother joined her there and held her close.  They both screamed when Daddy flung himself across the hood.  The woman swerved and crashed into a parked car.  White coats surrounded the car and a man in a blue uniform took the woman.  Daddy threw open the front door and reached into the car.  He got their baby.  Someone in white reached out, but Daddy shook him off and ran back into the hospital.  Blood dripped from a cut on Daddy's forehead.

Mother reached for the baby with tears flowing.

"Is he hurt?" she asked.

"I don't think so. He was on the floor of the car.  I'm getting a wheel chair for you.  We're going home." 

"Are you all right?" she asked.

"Just a scratch."  He dabbed at the cut with his handkerchief.

Mommy pulled Lily close as she lay back down on the bed.  She held the baby tightly to her chest.  Daddy went out in the hall to talk to the policeman.  Nurses huddled around the door.  How someone could have gotten past them?  Why didn’t the alarm bracelet go off?

Lily reached out to stroke the baby's tiny fingers.  Sure enough, there on his arm was a tag that had their last name on it.  Lily smiled and touched his dark, downy hair.  God must have meant him for them.  He was tagged with their name.

"Oh, Lily.  You saved our baby," Mommy said between kisses.  Lily took her baby’s little hand in hers.  It looked so tiny next to hers.  His little fingers curled around one of hers and he held on tightly.  She curved the rest of her fingers to hold on to his.  She would not let go.  Lily wanted to go and hide her baby like Daisy had done with her kitten. 

The baby was red and ugly.  He was loud and messy.  But, he was hers.  And nobody was going to hide him from her again!




Copyright 1996  These are my own working genealogy files that I share with you.  The errors are my own.  But, perhaps they will give you a starting point.  All original writing is copyrighted.  Webmaster

Copyright 1996  These are my own working genealogy files that I share with you.  The errors are my own.  But, perhaps they will give you a starting point.  All original writing is copyrighted.  Webmaster