On the stage and behind the scenes

The NarroWay Blog

Chapter 33: The Funny Farm

animals on postcard

BIRDIE –
July 6, 1997 there was an early morning call from Lora.

REBECCA –
Chapter 17 of this story, you read Lora’s story and how we first met her while working in Kentucky. She left everything and moved to South Carolina to help us. The Grand Hotel hired her but, when she wasn’t working her job, she spent every waking moment helping us.

BIRDIE –
Lynn (our one and only staff member) resigned to start a family. At the same time, the hotel where Lora worked closed. So, we hired Lora in 1997.

REBECCA –
Though she had a Master’s degree, she had no theater, business or office training at that time. Lora has since walked her way up through every rung of the NarroWay ladder and now serves second only to Birdie and me as the Theater Manager for NarroWay.

BIRDIE –
Back to the phone call...

REBECCA –
Lora went every morning and evening to check on and feed our leased animals. They boarded on a farm near the amphitheater.

BIRDIE –
That July morning when she called, there was excitement in her voice! “We have a baby!!!!” she shouted!

 

REBECCA –
Lora! What are you talking about?!

BIRDIE –
“A donkey! A newborn donkey! ‘Precious’ had a baby!!!”

REBECCA –
We didn’t even know “Precious” was pregnant!
Remember, “Precious” was our miniature donkey with a broken crest.

BIRDIE –
Rebecca and I looked like two of the three stooges trying to run out the door! We couldn’t get there fast enough!

REBECCA –
Sure enough... we had a baby.

baby donkey and mother

BIRDIE –
It was July, so we called the little furry piñata, “Firecracker!” And he lived up to his name!

baby donkey

REBECCA –
When our first performance season ended, it was time to return the leased animals. We had to return “Precious,” but we purchased “Firecracker.”

BIRDIE –
That crazy little donkey was raised like a puppy. We all adored him.

holding baby donkey
kids with miniature donkeys

REBECCA –
Firecracker could often be found sleeping by Lora’s desk, in the office.

BIRDIE –
I have heard that there really is such a thing as “little man syndrome.” If so, Firecracker had a bad case of it!

REBECCA –
Though he only stood about three feet tall, Firecracker declared himself boss over the whole entourage of animals. Camel, sheep, goats alike followed him into whatever mischief he conjured.

mischievous donkey
donkey in sunglasses

BIRDIE –
Firecracker’s only power struggles occurred when a new horse joined the cast. At those times, this furry pewter version of “my little pony” made it clear who was in charge on his farm.

REBECCA –
I’m not sure if this is true in all situations, but, in NarroWay’s assortment of close-knit animals, the horse is always universally accepted as the alpha-animal – even over the much larger camel. Not so with Firecracker.

donkey with saddlebags

BIRDIE –
Firecracker was also an expert escape artist.

REBECCA –
Not kidding! We couldn’t make a fence that he couldn’t eventually find or create a way to escape.

BIRDIE –
You’ve heard the song: “Jesus makes a way where there is no way!” Well, the same could be said of Firecracker.

REBECCA –
And escape alone, he didn’t!
In 1998 we adopted Gabriel, our adored standard donkey. In 1999 we purchased Sheba, our camel.

standard donkey
camel by lake

BIRDIE –
Along with a host of sheep and goats, Firecracker would lead the whole funny farm to escape! At any time of day or night we might get a call from security saying: “There’s a short donkey running down the back roads and a camel is chasing him.”

REBECCA –
Lora would grab a cup of Firecracker’s favorite treat and we would all take off, terrified.

BIRDIE –
Most always Firecracker would get them all lost in one of the wooded areas.

REBECCA –
We would eventually locate the area by following poop trails and sightings from stunned witnesses – who, having seen a camel run across the road, thought they were experiencing an apocalyptic vision!

BIRDIE –
We didn’t have to catch all the animals.

REBECCA –
Just Firecracker.

donkeys in pen

BIRDIE –
Lora would shout his name, over and over, as we combed the woods. Finally Firecracker would hear her voice and emerge for his treat. The exhausted rest of his motley crew was always behind the little menace – happy to be returned to a warm stall and hay bale.

REBECCA –
They were all so different...

BIRDIE –
...but they became family. And though they had power-struggles and fussed over who most deserved the first cup of grain, they were happiest to huddle in their side-by-side barn stalls...

REBECCA –
...or stand with their peeps on stage, getting their ears scratched and doing what God called them to do.

donkey on stage with kids

BIRDIE –
We can all learn a good lesson from the NarroWay funny farm.
Nobody expects a goat to act like a camel or a camel like a sheep. They are different!
And so are we.
And that’s okay.

REBECCA –
So if you’re Sheba, don’t try to be the Firecracker in the stall next to you.
And if you’re Firecracker, quit biting the blasted horse!
Maybe we could all just get along on this funny farm and be happy doing what God has called us to do.

animals on stage

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Comments 3

Guest - Shannon Davis on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:39

This is the best chapter yet!

This is the best chapter yet!
Guest - Aisha Pittman on Thursday, 15 December 2016 15:36

Hilarious!

Hilarious!
Guest - Betty Moore-Bell on Sunday, 15 January 2017 19:03

Love,love,love it!

Love,love,love it!
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Wednesday, 19 December 2018
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Chapter 34: The Little Things
Chapter 32: Keep Your Eyes on Jesus


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