It’s time to continue the “story time with Carol Ann”….much of these stories are passed down to me through the wonderful imaginations…based on fact and on the: “OF COURSE THAT HAPPENED!” exclamations from my brothers.  I was present for some of them, just a twinkle in my parent’s eyes in others…I left the jungles when I was around 3.

So, we had this pet tapir named Lucy.  South American tapir

Pretty creatures, aren’t they?!  (they all are odd-toed hoofed mammals….reminds me of someone?….that’s another story) 

Well, back to this story…Lucy was a fun pet for my family.  Word has it that we used to ride Lucy…coaxed her into letting us on her back by dangling a carrot from a stick over her nose and leading her that way.  Lucy fit right in with the rest of our normal life — right next to the monkeys, snakes, ant-eaters, armadillo, parrots, toucans, and other ordinary pets…dogs, horses, cows, pigs. 

Enter Dad, fierce warrior hunter.  He left for a hunt and Lucy, being a loyal tapir, went with him.  Sadly Dad returned from the jungle with Lucy conspicuously absent from his side.  He very somberly explained that he’d accidentally shot Lucy.  I know he wouldn’t have done it on purpose.  Maybe Lucy had mistaken identity for a moment and thought she was a hound dog and began to “help” with the hunt…not sure how it happened, but Lucy was gone forever.  Tragic when a family pet dies…through tears we recollected this gentle tapir, family friend, loving pet, Lucy — we mourned her passing as all good pet owners would do. (Somewhere in the handing down of this story I believe there was even a funeral for Lucy…)

Life returned to “normal”.  Mom baked out in her adobe oven – slammed the kitchen cupboard doors and drawers to get rid of the cockroaches before opening them. (FREE Outhouse Tip:   You’ll also want to slam the toilet lid before sitting down, cockroaches may dwell there as well.) Dad continued helping the Ayore men make railroad ties in the lumber yard he helped them build.  My siblings hurried through their studies each day (Mom was their teacher) because once you were done with your assignments, your time was your own.  My brothers would often go set traps, explore the surrounding area of our jungle village on their horses, climb the cliffs overlooking the land for miles and miles.  Nancy was probably assigned to keeping watch over me.  Mom in between taking care of the family, also continued her work in translating the Bible.  You know, life was just “normal”.

Well several weeks passed…then out of the foggy morning mist (not sure if we actually had foggy morning mist…but it’s more dramatic) a shape was seen lumbering out of the jungle.  Could it be?  No, seriously, could it be?  But how….??  Sure enough the shape became familiar to all — we’d know that beautiful big bellied, wierd snouted, odd toe-hoofed mammal anywhere!  Lucy conquered death – she’d been resurrected…well actually, Dad had been mistaken – he’d just wounded her.  It made for great conversation/teaching moments for us to understand The Resurrection…who knew a tapir would provide such a great illustration! Lucy had spent the past few weeks recovering as all wounded tapirs do and was now ready to forgive and rejoin the family. I believe she was probably fed her favorite food and given a place of honor among all the other pets that day.  Our little Lucy, home where she belonged.

There was great rejoicing in the camp that day!

(To my wonderful mother – if you’re reading this, my disclaimer is this:  MY BROTHERS have great imaginations and story telling abilities, which they got from YOU! …you did confirm this happened, but to the details included here….well, let’s just chalk it up to me following in the footsteps of a generation of family story-tellers. I love the life you gave me – it has enriched my life beyond most people’s wildest dreams…literally!  THANK YOU!!!!!)


About cakboliv

Born in Cochabamba, Bolivia to wonderful missionary parents, Howard and Maxine Morarie. Grew up in Bolivia, both in a remote jungle village

4 responses »

  1. Mom says:

    Fun! “Little” Lucy, you say? Look up the weight and size of this hippo-like animal, along with the partial trunk (elephant style) and you have the largest animal in the South American jungles! Good eating where the grass is good… strong meat in areas like Tobite (the camp of Ayore Indians where you grew up). I introduced onions to the Ayoreos who for the first time learned to eat the meat of the tapir; it helped with the gamey taste. I used to buy large baskets of onions, and didn’t sell them, but gave them out whenever there was a tapir killed! That made me a “caw-knee-ray” to the Ayoreos (generous lady)…I’ve always been a people-pleaser (:.. The Ayoreos did kill the tapir prior to their coming into civilization. However, it was for the hide from which they made sandals. They’d let the meat rot! They were very selective of the meats they would eat. You’re quite a writer, Caw-roe-day! (Little red stone!)



  2. optionalg says:

    man.. old yeller gone bad… sniff sniff

  3. Donna says:

    Thanks for the visuals and transport to a different place!

  4. […] And, since this post is already random enough, check out the brand new baby tapir born in a Scotland zoo.  (If you remember, I’m fond of tapirs, our family had one as a pet….) […]

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