“Bayou Jeaux” tells of a poignant scene — and a missed opportunity for a good deed:

“Your story about mothers and babies going home from the hospital in an ambulance after the delivery brings back a haunting memory.

“In a recent year, I was driving past Woman’s Hospital when I noticed a young girl sitting on a bus stop bench.

“She looked like a teenager, and was all dressed up, holding some fresh flowers.

“Beside her was a bassinet with a newborn. A congratulatory balloon floated above it.

“Waiting for a bus to take her home, I suppose.

“I, and a host of other drivers, passed the new mother by.

“What a good deed this could have been for me, and others, if we had offered some assistance.”

On the wing

Gail Stephenson says, “Chuck Falcon’s story about the chick named ‘Nugget’ reminded me of this story from my younger days.

“My parents used to order 100 day-old chicks from Missouri that were delivered through the U.S. mail.

“We needed hens for eggs, but it was much cheaper to order the chicks ‘unsexed.’

“The supposedly random boxes of chicks usually turned out to be 90 percent male; those ended up on the dinner table when they got big enough to eat.

“My sister Jill was a great animal lover (she grew up to be a vet tech) who named each chick.

“One chick had unusually large wings, so she named him Wingsie.

“One day while we were at school, Mama slaughtered the cockerels and fixed a big dish of chicken and rice for supper.

“We were all eating happily when Jill pulled a large wing from the dish.

“Suddenly it dawned on her what she was eating.

“She jumped from the table, crying, ‘You killed Wingsie!’

“It was a while before she’d eat chicken again.”

Which reminds me

When my dad retired and moved from Kenner to Oakdale, he acquired a few acres, got himself six cows and proclaimed himself a farmer.

But he had been too long in the city to readily adapt to the rural lifestyle.

This was evident when he named each member of his herd.

“You’ll never eat a cow you name,” I told him.

Sure enough, he eventually sold off his livestock rather than slaughter them.

Which meant I never got those ribeyes he had promised me when he got into the cattle business.

Which also reminds me

Unlike my dad, my brother’s three boys in Oakdale knew what raising livestock is all about.

As youngsters, they had a big white pig they named Whitey.

My mom and dad used to love taking pictures of the lads playing with Whitey, riding him, etc.

One day my parents were having lunch with my brother and his family, and as they dug into the pork chops, Josh, the youngest, asked my dad, “Isn’t Whitey good?”

My mom said my dad got pale, put down his knife and fork, and took not another bite of the former pet.

Nice People Dept.

“I am constantly reminded what nice people live in Baton Rouge,” says Ina G. Navarre. “I wandered into The Optical Shoppe in Bocage Shopping Center, seeking help in locating another merchant in the center.

“The lady in the store who helped me stopped what she was doing, looked up the address of the business, called them for specific directions to relay to me, and did it all with a smile.

“I hope her boss reads this and recognizes the goodwill she generated with such a simple act.”

Special People Dept.

Rudolph Boullion, of Baker, celebrated his 101st birthday on Saturday, Nov. 29.

Anne Jennings, of Baton Rouge, celebrates her 97th birthday on Friday, Dec. 5.

Antoinette Kapfer Gueho, of Livonia, a World War II bride from Dauendorf, Alsace, France, celebrates her 93rd birthday on Friday, Dec. 5.

C. Hewitt Underwood and Ferne Miller Underwood, of Denham Springs, celebrate their 68th anniversary on Friday, Dec. 5.

Lard help us!

Kevin Lawson, of Denham Springs, says, “Last week my son decided he was going to help with supper by cooking a dish — which I welcomed.

“I don’t discourage anyone from helping cook or clean.

“He told me this story after supper, so I had no idea of his ordeal.

“His recipe called for two tablespoons of bacon grease, which we didn’t have.

“So he jumps in his truck and goes to Carter’s store in Denham.

“I can’t imagine the look on the grocery store worker’s face when asked, ‘Which aisle is the bacon grease on?’

“He told my son that they didn’t sell bacon grease, and he would have to fry the bacon and collect the grease himself.

“I’m still proud of him for effort, though. Bless his heart.

“By the way, I think he may have stumbled on to a million-dollar idea.”

Contact Smiley

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.