The thumping and banging on the top of the package surprised me. I had just picked up the mail from the mailbox and was carrying it in to the house. Then I heard the groaning. What was this? The noise was coming from the package. Then I heard the bangs, scrapes, and thumps.
Slitting the tape and peeking in to the square See's Candy box carefully, I jumped at least two feet when a throaty, gravelly voice croaked, "Ack! Eww! Awwk! I thought I'd never survive the flight!" Two brown eyes squinted at me from a seaweed green face. "Have you ever been airsick? It ain't pretty!" Quickly, I opened the white package, pulled away the tissue paper and stared.
It was a green sheep. I mean, it was a sort of white lamb dressed in a pink apron. But it was obviously a very nauseated, dizzy, greenish ewe lamb.
"Hello. Are you alright?" I was a little worried.
"No, I'm not alright! You wouldn't be either if you had been traveling in a jet cargo bin for hours and hours. How long does it take to get to Hollywood from Alaska?"
I thought a minute. "Several hours, I guess. Five or six, at least."
She opened one eye a little and surveyed the room.
"You have any lamb tonic?"
I considered and answered. "Well, I have lettuce, parsley and carrots in the garden. How about if I cook up a little soup?"
Lulu Lamb looked surprised. "Do movie stars and celebrities have gardens?"
"I don't know about celebrities. I have a garden. My name is Willow."
Gazing around her, Lulu sat up and immediately flopped over on her side. The groaning, moaning and hacking resumed. Obviously, Lulu was still a little jet lagged.
I ran to the kitchen and pulled some lettuce leaves, newly picked carrots and a few pieces of parsley from the colander, washed them, and offered them to Lulu on a tray.
"Ya got any champagne?" she asked. "I thought every movie star drank the bubbly all day long."
As she nibbled at the lettuce, I sat down and thought. I recalled an email I had received a few weeks before from a friend up north, mentioning that she had gone to Australia and met up with some interesting characters Down Under. One of them, a Lamb named Lulu, had sneaked into her luggage and stowed away on the flight back from Aussie-Land. Thinking about that communication, I remembered that Lulu had a reputation for wanderlust and wild living. My friend had wondered if I was willing to host Lulu for a few days since she was in the US, had somehow obtained an almost authentic looking visitor's visa, most likely in some seedy side street in Canberra, and wanted to see Southern California. As I sat there, staring at this crazy, ear pierced, white (and greenish) wooly sheep, I realized this was Lulu Lamb, and I just might be getting more than I had bargained for.
"Water. I have water. Or tea. Are you feeling better now, dear?"
"Right, mate! I'm feeling just fine now. Ready for some fun! Let's hit The Strip, Baby! I love Hollywood!"
The Strip? Hollywood? Yeah, I was not prepared for this...
I was just a quiet teacher married to an even quieter professor, and we didn't live in Hollywood. What was I going to do with a wild Lulu Lamb in LaLa-Land?