I can’t imagine a farm without a dog. In fact, I don’t think I know
of any farms without one. They are man’s – and most particularly children’sbest friend. Our shepherd is no exception, accepting hugs, wrestling and leftovers with equal enthusiasm.
One Saturday afternoon several years ago, when I was driving my
children home in our van, we pulled alongside a pick up truck that had a
dog in the back of it. The babies responded with enthusiastic “woof – woofs”. The other three had a stirring discussion as to what breed of dog it was.
After dismissing bulldog, sheep dog, poodle and wolf, they finally decided that it looked more like a pig and therefore, quite logically it seemed, was likely a pit bull terrier. That is, Alex, the seven year old said it was a pit bull. Four year old Charles called it a pickle terrier; his sister Jane, a pimple terrier. In any case, it was very dangerous.
The appearance of the pickle, or rather pimple, launched some interesting
Jane, her eyes wide and bright said in a hushed voice,
“There were a couple of guys sitting on a bench? And a pimple terrier
walks up? And bites off their legs!”
Alex was unmoved.
“Oh ya? Where did you hear that?”
“On the news,” was the quick reply.
This seemed at least to satisfy her twin brother. Entering into the
spirit of the discussion, he launched the following.
“Well there was this guy who was just sittin’ there and this pickle
terrier came up and ate off all his skin and just left his brain and his
This appeared to raise some doubt in his listeners, for Jane asked,
“Nothin’ but his brain and his bones?”
“And his shoes,” said Charles after some thought, at once making
the story believable. To his sister that is. His older brother remained unconvinced.
“Oh ya? Where did you see that? On the news?”
“Nope,” he replied, not missing a beat. “On video”.
“Oooo gross!” squealed a delighted Jane.
This sparked a heated discussion of the grossest things they had ever
seen on video, television, and the movies. The possibilities were endless.
There was a green-faced, warty boogey man who boogedy-ized
someone’s mother, and giant wer chickens who pecked people and turned
them into feathered, crazed, clucking wer people. Eating live beetles or
eyeball soup ranked highly. But the clincher came from Charles who, with
a screwed up nose and a look of utter disgust on his face recounted an episode he had seen on television.
“There was this guy and he saved this lady. And she turned around
and kissed him. Yuck!”
“Oh too gross.”
For once his older brother was on his side. Jane just giggled.
Bizarre tales can make you do that.
To be a fly-on-the-wall to children’s conversations – what pleasure in the moment, and hats off to you for being able to stay out of the conversation. And what a wealth of material for your later writings!