Who Knew CPR Stood for Chick Poultry Resuscitation?
My friend Courtney not only marches to the beat of a different drummer, she’s got Keith Moon hardwired to her soul.
She is sassy, yet serene. Avoidant, yet cuddlesome. Bitter, yet forgiving.
Large black circular eyeglasses rim her wolf blue eyes, which don’t really twinkle, but penetrate –– like the blue flame of a welding torch cutting steel. The glasses make her look smart, which she says she isn’t, but I’d put her brain up against anybody’s in a street fight.
Her raven hair matches her glasses, but often you can’t tell. She might dye her hair blonde, or purple. Or, shave the sides almost all the way to the top. Most frequently she wears her hair in a bob that looks like she cut it herself in front of a mirror, which I’m certain she has.
Once, last summer, she buzz-cut her head completely to support her Mother’s cancer battle. A decision that might take other ladies a long time to consider, Courtney made in the time it took to plug in the electric clippers.
She’s only 27, but has embraced the hippie subculture of the 1960s. It’s not unusual to see her with a flower in her hair, when she has hair, and sandals on her feet, when not going barefoot. To prove it further, she drives a 1969 Chevy 6.0L V8 Gas Shorty School Bus –– named “Felton” –– that looks like it was tie-dyed with a load of T-shirts.
I call her “Mouse,” short for Mighty Mouse. She’s only 5’2”, which makes her undistinguishable, if not for the fact that she’s big into body building. She has biceps that make Dwayne Johnson, aka the Rock, blanch.
Courtney has beautiful creamy skin, but chooses to adorn it with baubles and ink, head to toe. She says that one day she hopes to have her whole body covered in tattoos, which seems to old-fashioned-me like throwing a house painter’s drop-cloth over the statue of Venus.
Nevertheless, I’ve come to appreciate her tattoos. She explained to me that every design on her body recalls an important event in her life –– good and bad. I’ve read through two wrists, a left shoulder and an elbow, and I can say this woman has had some extraordinary things happen in her short life.
The birth of her two children inhabit the most predominant places, as do personal traumas. She’s promised me a spot near the heel.
Above everything else, Courtney loves life –– hers and everyone else’s. She’s seen enough to know how fragile it can be, and abhors the senselessness of death — except perhaps when it comes to ex-husbands.
Tuesday night, Courtney and I were supposed to meet. I got this frantic message that she would be at least an hour late. I wasn’t worried until she finally showed up haggard and pale.
“I had to save the chicken,” she said.
“Leftovers?” I asked.
“No, idiot! Saved, as in rescued.”
One of the baby chicks that she purchased for her kids to raise followed the baby ducks into the little plastic wading pool, ignoring the signs not to go in the deep end. Courtney came upon the tragic scene quite by happenstance, but immediately jumped into action, relying on her paramedic training.
She swooped the bird out of the water, and . . . I can’t make this up . . . began mouth to beak resuscitation!
The bird’s lifeless body swelled like a party balloon each time Courtney puffed lifesaving air down its gullet. The little hatchling failed to respond. She added chest compressions just above the gizzard, but still nothing. At last, Courtney abandoned the rescue. She laid the pooped poult gently to the earth, and contemplated what she would tell the children.
Suddenly the chick coughed, something else I didn’t know they could do. With one mighty tweet-hack –– a “twack” –– the bird rose to its feet!
Courtney grabbed the chick, pressed it to her chest, and scampered off to find a heating pad for life-sustaining warmth.
This whole story seems familiar to me. Then I realized that this isn’t the first time a per-son wearing sandals performed miracles. But it might be the first time that the voice crying in the wilderness was a peep.
John O. Marlowe is an award-winning columnist for Sagamore News Media.