Popcorn actually was born in a cornfield!
One early morning in the state of Kansas his mother and father had not expected his arrival for almost another month.
He arrived screaming to the top of his lungs and his Pa laughingly said "he looks just like a little piece of popcorn all shriveled and round" so thus Popcorn was his nickname for the rest of his life.
Peter Brown was the name on his birth certificate but Popcorn became his name to everyone he encountered. Peter was a happy and carefree child and a friend to everyone he met along the way. He always got along well with the other children because of his “special” talent. That talent was taking care of wounded animals.
Anytime a friend found a rabbit, bird or small wild animal hurt they would bring it to Popcorn to heal. Peter had this special talent of calming the animal down by making soft grunts, clicking his tongue or making coo sounds.
Then finally caressing the poor animal on it's back and head until the critter calmed down enough for him to examine.
Usually it was some simple thing like a burr in a paw, a thorn in an ear or a wing turned the wrong way. Peter talked gently to the animal as he removed or fixed the problem then he would set them free.
The critter would scurry away then often stop and look back as if to say thank you. Popcorn and his friends always beamed when this happened.
His parents knew their son was a specially gifted child and hoped that someday he would grow up to be a veterinarian. When he was in high school he excelled in 4H and learned everything he could to help his animal friends.
High school is where he met Carla Paul who also was very fond of animals and they tended the menagerie of animals together all through school. They both received scholarships and both went on to veterinarian school but in different states. Popcorn became a veterinarian but he never heard from Carla again. She had lived with her Aunt Carla as a child because both her parents had died in an auto accident when she was young. Aunt Carla left Assaria when Carla left for veterinarian school and no one had heard of them since. It was a mystery to Popcorn also because they had been good friends.
The years passed and Dr. Popcorn, as the towns people called him, was the town celebrity. Everyone loved him and nothing was ever spoken badly against him.
Peter never married but many of the single ladies surly would have liked to become his wife. They even made up excuses for him to see their animals that were not even ill just try to get him to stay for dinner but he would always say, "Sorry can't stay because Ma has dinner on the table waiting for me to come home." This went on for a while and they eventually quit asking him.
The years went on and he lost his Ma and then soon his Pa. He was not lonely in that big old farmhouse because he had his pets and his beloved travel books to keep him company. All his life he wanted to travel to far away places and observe exotic animals. He loved elephants the most.
One day he decided to take that trip because he had worked all his life and saved his money but the problem was getting a replacement veterinarian that would care about the animals like the way he cared. He was talking to one of his colleagues about this and he said he would be on the lookout and ask around.
Life went on everyday as usual but about two weeks later
Thomas called up and said,
"You won't believe it I found the man for you and he is so excited about coming to Assaria, Kansas and he's a top vet in New York City but doesn't care what you pay him to work here. His name is Dr. Peter Paul."
Popcorn met with Dr. Paul and found out the reason he wanted to live in Assaria. It seems that Peter's long time high school friend, Carla, never married but she adopted and named her son after Popcorn because he had been her school chum and she had admired him so much.
Popcorn was amazed and asked about his mother Carla. Where was she? What was she doing?
He asked question after question and young Peter could not stop laughing. Finally Popcorn started laughing too and Peter asked him to get in to his car and he would take Popcorn to his mother. She was about twenty miles away at a circus. When Popcorn and Paula met you could not get a feather between them because the hugs were so tight.
It seems that Carla went on to be a veterinarian also but she chose to take care of the animals in a traveling circus. The story ends happily because young Peter took over the business and Popcorn and Paula got married and now the circus had two veterinarians. Popcorn never wanted to travel again because he had all the exotic animals he could take care of and of course he had Carla.
© Julia A Knaake