CALAMITOUS JANE

Confusion and mayhem seemed to follow Jane Connors wherever she went. She was a bright, inquisitive girl with a bit of a stubborn streak and insisted on doing things her own way. Most times they didn’t turn out very well. As far back as people can recall, Jane had a knack for making trouble, finding trouble or getting into trouble. 

One spring day while Jane was out picking wildflowers, she spotted some daisies in her neighbor’s garden. She opened the gate, plucked a handful and went on her merry way – forgetting to close the gate. The neighbor’s dog trotted out, sniffing the air until he found the source of the delicious scent  – a drying rack of smoked salami and sausages in a backyard across the street. In the blink of an eye the meat was swallowed up and the dog happily ran home for a nap. And Jane was totally oblivious.

Then there was the time Jane’s dad didn’t approve of ‘those juvenile delinquent characters’ she was hanging out with. “Oh, don’t worry” said her mom. “They’re good kids and remember, we were young once.” Well, they might have been good kids but one cigarette carelessly tossed from their car burned down Old Man Walker’s barn and most of his farm. Jane and her friends didn’t even realize what happened. 

Jane’s mother made all the costumes for the high school Christmas pageant and gave Jane explicit instructions to deliver the box of costumes to the auditorium. The door to the auditorium was locked but there were other boxes piled against the wall so Jane added her mother’s to the collection. The next night at dress rehearsal, the costumes were nowhere to be found. Jane was asked about the missing box and replied that she had put it with the other boxes. It was quickly determined that the pile was actually trash which had been picked up and disposed of. Needless to say, the pageant was not the same without costumes. 

Jane volunteered at the local women’s hospital; caring for newborns was the highlight of her day. One unusually quiet Saturday morning Jane decided to bathe the babies. There were only five little ones – not a difficult task. Starting with the first, she carefully undressed it, gently removed the name bracelet, bathed the baby, dressed it in a clean onesie and returned it to a bassinet. When all the babies were bathed and swaddled, Jane suddenly noticed the stack of name bracelets by the wash basin. Panic set in when she realized she had no idea which baby was which! How was she ever going to match each baby with its correct bracelet? “Well, I’ll just have to take my chances”, she thought and randomly reattached the bracelets. 

Later that day pandemonium had erupted. “Get over here, Jane!” demanded the head nurse. “The mother of baby Jesse is screaming that he’s not hers and all the other moms are frantic! It’s bedlam here, Jane! What on earth have you done now?”

NAR © 2018

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