Hindel Kidz 25: Remembering Ruby | By: Abbey Gray | | Category: Short Story - Biography Bookmark and Share

Hindel Kidz 25: Remembering Ruby

Hindel Kidz 25

Remembering Ruby


Shelly wanted to know how many of Jack’s goats were going to have babies this year. At first, Jack thought eight of them were going to have little ones. Grace was thrilled. If every goat had twins that would mean there would be sixteen baby goats running around. Even if all the goats had one baby there would be more babies then ever before. Grace looked at Jack’s list of due dates. She just had to know when the babies were supposed to be born and which goat would have her babies first.

Ruby would be first this time. She was supposed to have her baby on February 22nd. February 22nd came and went. Every morning Grace would ask, “So is Ruby showing any signs yet?” So far the answer had been the same. No.

Finally on February 28th almost a week later Jack said, “I think Ruby is starting to show signs.”

He had gone all hi-tech and bought a camera to put out in the building so he could keep an eye on Ruby and not have to go outside to check on her. Grace noticed Ruby was just standing in one spot and staring off into space. According to the book, she was in the first stage.

All day Grace was anxious and wondering if Ruby had her baby yet. Grace thought she was going to have twins. She had a dream about Ruby having twin girls. If that were the case then she would have named them Emerald and Sapphire or something like that. If the babies were born in February, she could call one Amethyst. Blizzard could be another name because of all the snow. They had 26 inches above the normal snowfall for the month of February.

When Sven and Grace went to bed that night Sven said, “I’ll go check on Ruby tomorrow morning before we go to town.” At 3:40am, March 1st the phone rang.

Grace was still half asleep and didn’t know what was going on or why she was awake. Then Sven said, “Get dressed. Dad needs your help with something.” Grace was wide-awake.

As they rode up to Jack’s, Grace was wondering what Jack needed her help with. Maybe Ruby had her babies and he needed help drying them off. Or maybe one of the other goats was having their baby at the same time and Jack couldn’t be two places at once.

When they got there, Jack told Grace one of the baby’s legs was tucked up underneath it and he couldn’t get it out. Neither could Charlotte. Grace had small hands. She knelt beside Ruby and tried to see if she could feel a leg. It was like plunging her fingers into warm oatmeal. First, she could feel the mouth. A little further up she thought she could feel a leg. She crooked her fingers and finally got the other leg out. She tried to pull some of the baby out, but the legs were so wet and slippery she couldn’t get a good grip. Jack said she needed to find the head next. She moved her fingers around, but couldn’t feel the mouth anymore. They thought maybe one baby was on top of the other one or maybe they were trying to come out at the same time. The baby could also be coming out backwards, but the two feet looked like front feet. Ruby cried. By the end, Grace had her whole hand inside trying to find the head. She had to ignore Ruby’s cries and keep trying.

“I know, honey,” Grace said. “I know you didn’t plan to have someone’s hand inside early Monday morning.”

Jack said it was very unlikely the baby would be okay. Ruby had been having cramps since 10:00pm Sunday night. The baby was probably already gone. They went in the house and Grace watched Ruby push and cry on the television screen. If Sven and Grace didn’t have to go to town in the morning, Grace would have stayed up there all night.

Grace wished she could have done more to help Ruby. She had done all she could. She had gotten the other leg out which was something Jack and Charlotte couldn’t have done.  She always tried to be hopeful, but this time part of her had a hopelessness feeling.

When Sven and Grace got back from town, they found out Jack and Charlotte had taken Ruby to the veterinarian. The vet tried for 40 minutes to pull the baby out and finally decided to do emergency surgery to get the baby out. Jack told him to go ahead and make it so Ruby could not have any more babies. No need to put her through that again. As it turned out, Ruby’s insides were torn and the baby had fallen through and that was why they couldn’t find the head. Jack said it was costly, but Ruby was his baby. He would have done anything for her. It was the best thing for her. The vet gave her a 50/50 chance. There had only been one baby.

The next day, Grace hurt from her neck down to her knees. She was so sore. The only explanation she could come up with was she was having sympathy pains for Ruby.

Unfortunately, Ruby passed away the afternoon of March 2nd. The trauma had been too much and her poor little body just couldn’t handle it. She was three years old.  After this they wouldn’t be surprised if Jack didn’t let the goats have any more babies. He had also said,” If I really want a baby goat then I would just buy one to raise.” Grace would have gladly suffered through a few more days of sympathy pains if it meant Ruby would still be there.

Grace’s grandpa always said, “Don’t make pets out of farm animals.” But Grace was just like her grandma; she just couldn’t help it. She was attached to all the goats, some more than others. Ruby just happened to be one of the more. Sven and Grace’s neighbor also said, “You always loose the one you love the most.” Shelly had six goats that were due to have babies in March. Grace wondered if Shelly would either give or sell one to Jack for a discount price because of Ruby. If one of the babies was a girl that is.


Ruby was basically a lap goat. She would lie on Jack’s lap and sleep for hours. She also loved to be combed. She would ride in the front seat of the truck with Jack. She would walk with him and stop when he stopped and go when he went. She had won first and third place at the fair. Ruby was trained to run up on the spool during feeding time. She had such a dainty, prissy walk.  She would come out to see Jack during the summer to get petted and combed, especially her backside. If he petted any other goat before her, she gave him the death stare. When Jack went down to Arkansas to visit Bree, Ruby was livid. She didn’t eat for two days because she thought Jack had left her. When he came back, her tail started going 90 miles an hour. And when Sven’s stepsister brought her two dogs down to Jack’s, one came over to Jack and wanted to be petted. Ruby was right beside his chair. She took two steps back and head butted the dog into next week. She showed him who was boss.


                                  THE LITTLE ANGEL


Jan. 13, 2007- Mar. 2, 2010



Click Here for more stories by Abbey Gray