Monday, June 6, 2011

Have you ever wondered.....

about your thought processes? In other words, you're sitting there thinking about something and all of a sudden you think.....now WHY in the world am I thinking about this, of all things. So you start to put your thoughts in reverse and figure out how one thought leads to another and so on. It actually shows you how amazing our brains are.....and there really IS some reasoning to our thought processes. Sometimes, I get lost and I'm not able to take it all the way back....but its good exercise for the brain nevertheless. However, you can save yourself all that reversing if you wake up thinking of something and from there it just leads you off onto some path down memory lane.

I woke up this morning humming "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley. I can remember when that song first came out and my mother thought it was absolutely ridiculous and said it made no sense at all. Of course it went on to be a chart buster and helped push Elvis to the top and secured his title as "The King" forever-more. However, I also felt that the song really made no sense as well, but I was a "tween" at the time and I would have never admitted it, especially to my mom cause that would mean I was agreeing that she was right; plus that..... it really didn't matter. Songs didn't HAVE to make sense. I accepted that and, accordingly, the song has never made sense to me all these years.....until today.

Well, this morning I was thinking about that and also thinking about the lyrics. "You ain't never caught a rabbit, so you ain't no friend o' mine". All of a sudden, a light bulb went off. As I mentioned before, I loved to date boys from the south and did end up marrying one. He was from a poor family in the deep south. He told me many stories of his childhood and also about his dog, Charlie. Charlie was a big dog (think mix between shepherd, spaniel and coon hound....and lord only knows what else). The dog pictured, although not Charlie, is as close as I could find to what he looked like from photos I've seen. He was a typical southern sharecropper's dog, laying under the porch for coolness, chasing coons, keeping foxes out of the chicken house and following the kids around. Lots of different jobs: Protector of the house, snake killer and squirrel hunter......and also a good buddy.

My future husband (youngest boy out of family of 15), who I shall refer to as J.R., was about 9 or 10 at the time and his dad (who was SO very strict) gave him 4 shotgun shells and told him to go shoot some squirrels for supper. Now he knew that if he came home with all 4 shells gone, he had BETTER have 4 dead somethings to show for it. There was no such thing as wasting ammo.....it was expensive and they didn't have extra money to throw away. If he couldn't account for 4 shells being gone, he got a whipping.....a good hard one.

So he and Charlie went off into the woods to hunt. He had been shooting since he was old enough to pick up the shotgun and was a good shot, as most southern boys are. You can imagine the fear in his little heart when he missed a shot and the squirrel got away. He sat, leaned against a tree, 3 dead squirrels by his side, no shotgun shells left and Charlie sitting on his haunches facing him. The tears were flowing as he confessed to Charlie a whipping was surely waiting for him. He said that Charlie trotted off and came back in just a little while and dropped a dead rabbit next to him. He said that dog was a life saver that day. He had gone out and killed a rabbit and brought it back, just like he understood what J.R.'s fate was going to be. The boys always took their game home and, after showing it to their pa just so he could confirm the amount (if you only have 2 dead somethings you damn well better have 2 shells left), they gave it to their mama, who cleaned it and fixed it up for supper. He knew she would never tell on him, that there were no shotgun pellets in the rabbit because she hated to see her boys whipped for something like that.

Anyway.....the line about not catching a rabbit in Elvis's song, suddenly made sense to me. It had probably made sense to every southern boy in the world....but now it was clear to me. And that was my thought processes upon waking, this beautiful morning. Rest in peace, Charlie, wherever you're buried....you were a good dog and a true "friend" to a scared little boy. I'm wondering if Elvis had ever had the same experience. What do you think?

8 comments:

Jamie said...

Wow! No wonder we are friends..we both have completely crazy brains! I do that too, chase the reasoning for a line of thought...

And the story was awesome. Dogs are so smart...

Happy effing Monday. Hugs, friend!

forsythia said...

That is a great story! Elvis's song was probably about a person he knew--some blowhard, maybe.

Mary said...

That's a really neat story, great way to start my day. I do that same thinking game too, and I probably talk out loud to my self, who knows. The other night I found myself trying to remember my Grade school teachers names, Why? I have no idea. I didn't get very far on that one, then I started thinking about my memory and if I have issues there, then I started thinking about...Well you know how it goes.

Happyone : ) said...

I do that too and think its pretty common.

That line makes perfect sense now.

Leann said...

I very much enjoyed reading that little tidbit of history. I am sure that little boy's heart was thudding so loudly Charlie could hear it all the way to that rabbit :-)

Peruby said...

Yes, I do the same with thoughts. It is amazing.

The story is very profound and I thank you for sharing it with us.

dana said...

Every morning I wake up with a stupid song in my head from the 60's & 70's and it's always a song I hated then. Yesterday it was "FRIDAY ON MY MIND" and this morning it was "UP UP AND AWAY in my BUUUTIFUL, my BUUUUUUTIFUL Ballooooooooooon"

I gag all day with a new song every 24 hours in my brain.

Cheryl said...

I loved your post. I love all things Southern, and the story of your husband as a boy. Wow...to be from such a big family! I saw a special on CBS This Morning a while back about the songwriting team who wrote Hound Dog. They wrote it for Big Momma Thornton, who recorded it before Elvis. The team went on to write most of Elvis's hits. Just a little trivia. Here's a link to more info, in case you're interested: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=473