Interview with a horsefly

Interview with a horsefly

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Dec 01, 2006

Wednesday, July 5th 1989

Jeb White walked to the mailbox. On the side of the box, he noticed a very large black horsefly rubbing its front feet together. As he opened the door, two large brown wasps exited and swayed momentarily in the air like small helicopters. They threatened briefly, then gained speed and moved on. Jeb's hair bristled and his chest hurt a bit.

"Stinkin' bugs," he muttered.

Inside among the junk mail was a small envelope. He looked and it was handwritten — a good sign. The return address had a DVM near the left corner another good sign.

He opened the letter and noticed that his heart was still hurting a bit. He drew a big breath and the pain diminished. Inside was a brief letter stating that Jane Sanders, DVM would be in the area. Jeb put a job announcement in JAVMA in May and this was his second inquiry. The first came and went. That young man had wanted only small animal work. It appears that Jane is willing to do large animal work but was not raised on a farm.

"A girl? This is first time I have had interest from a lady!"


Is there a shortage of veterinarians?
"I knew that there were more females entering school, but..."

Jeb mused a little longer and managed to walk into a chair that had been pulled out away from the counter. He didn't quite know how to react.

Tuesday July 11th, 1989

Jane walked into the small office and looked around. She liked what she saw. She wanted a country setting, and this fit the bill as far as the front office was concerned. There were posters without frames up in various places covering some health issues. She walked over and looked at one concerning shipping fever and another one on mastitis. Pig and cattle medications were on display near the front door. The smell of a dispensary was ripe. To Jane it meant that she had escaped her roots: the city rat race.

Jane was not married and ready to settle down in small town America.

"Howdy, can I help you?" Mary Ellen White grinned from behind the counter.

"Hello. I am Jane Sanders. I would like to talk to the owner."

Mary Ellen's countenance changed.

"Are you one of those new lady drug reps?"

"Oh, no I am a veterinarian and would like to talk to the veterinarians here about a job."

Mary Ellen froze for a second, excused herself, went to the back and quickly padded into the office.

"Jeb was reading 'Prairie Farmer.' " He still had his boots on from a farm call early in the morning.

"There is a new vet up front and I think it is a girl!" his wife exclaimed in bewilderment.

Jane's epilogue

Jeb hired Jane Sanders over his wife's misgivings. As it turned out within a few short years Jane would become one of the best food animal veterinarians in the county. Jane could get her arms and torso into areas where Jeb's big maws and frame could scarcely squeeze.

Jane married and raised two small sons. After five years her husband was transferred to another state and Jane moved on.