Log Cabin Chronicles
John Mahoney's Free-fire Zone
John Mahoney
John Mahoney
is editor of the Log Cabin Chronicles.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 12.22.00
Fool's Hollow, Quebec


Little girl, dying, gets her Christmas wish

There's nothing that will break your heart quicker than a child dying.

Elise is one of those children. And what she wanted most of all this Christmas was a baby lamb to feed and cuddle.

But where, in a city, do you find a baby lamb that hasn't been weaned?

At Christmas, anything is possible.

Here's how the story of Elise and her Christmas wish unfolded this week down in Grandma Moses country, in New York state.

On Sunday, December 17, Doreen Thomas picked up her telephone. The caller had misdialed just another wrong number.

But the caller didn't hang up immediately. She was getting desperate, she said.

She was trying to locate a nursing lamb for a little girl who was dying, whose "Make A Wish" wish was to love a baby lamb.

And time was running out.

Doreen Thomas said she was terribly sorry, but she didn't know of anyone with baby lambs that needed bottle feeding.

Wrong, said her husband John after she told him about the strange telephone call. Their friend, Fran Errion, had not one but two lambs she was nursing.

Fran's husband, Jerry, died this autumn after a very short retirement and her daughter Amy had bought the lambs to help ease her pain.

On Wednesday, Amy tied bright red Christmas collars on the lambs, collars with tinkling bells attached. She and her friend Tom loaded them into the back of his truck, which was well filled with soft, dry hay and drove to the city.

There was good cheer and a crackling blaze in the family room fireplace when little Elise got her Christmas wish. With her mother's help, Elise fed one lamb, then the other. Then, to her delight, the baby lambs, filled with warm milk, nodded off to sleep.

Sometimes, wishes come true. Happy Christmas, Elise, a very happy Christmas.

It's the kind of story Jerry Errion, who had spent his life working for the poor and the disadvantaged, would have loved.

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