Our Tiny House

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Rhino Attack!



An author was on trial for using the same opening sentence as one already in a published book.

The lawyer won the case with one sentence:

“Once Upon A Time.”


Once upon a time, there were no cell phones.

What did people do?

They sat in front of their televisions.

Once upon a time, there was no television.

What did people do?

They sat around the radio.

Once upon a time, there was no radio.

What did people do?

At night, after the cares of the day were handled, they encircled a campfire and told stories.

I have the talking stick and I’m telling a story: “I’m standing in the jungle, see, and two white rhinos are running full bore towards me. Their hoof beats are shaking the ground so hard, it’s like we are having an earthquake.

Every cell in my body screams, “Run!”

Stop! 

Think again. 

Rhinos have poor eyesight, but great hearing and smelling. They are after me, not because they see me, but because they hear or smell me. They will definitely hear if I run. I will end up with severe piercings or dead.

What do I do? 

I take my chances on their poor eyesight and my morning bath. 

I stand stock still.

The rhinos come within a few feet of me and stop.

They retreat, but have second thoughts and come again.

Again, I stand still, and they stop within feet of me.

After they wander off, I beat-feet out of there and I’m here to tell the story.

A while later, a fellow tribesman is in the bush and what does he encounter? 

A rhino.

That beast the size of a small freight train engine begins to charge.  My tribesman turns to run, then remembers the story. Rhinos do not see well but hear very well. 

Don’t run. 

That smart fellow stands still.

He is saved.

This is the way we learned to survive, by stories. By people sharing their experiences and mixing them up into a story so that people will listen and remember. 

The desire for story has been built into us over the millennia. 

Hollywood will invest millions on a good story if they think it will sell. And that is before any customer spends a dime on it. (A dime? I remember as a kid, a movie cost a dime.)

June tells a good story. June is my 96-year-old friend.

My daughter videotaped her last week with the intention of querying her about what she ate growing up.

Her answer? “Whatever I could get my hands on, and that was mainly fruits and vegetables.” This was during the great depression, and as the grocery displayed fruits and vegetables outside his store, that made them an easy grab for a hungry kid.
I was more interested in her attitude. She’s 96-years-old remember? She must have done something right. 

She lost two mothers and attended 13 schools before she was in the eighth grade. Her father abandoned her and her two brothers, she was shuffled around by family members, and by choice ended up in a girl’s school. She joined the WACS (military) when she was twenty-one, and while there met the love of her life. They married and loved for eight years until he was killed in a plane crash.

Not an easy life huh?

Yet June is the most positive person I know. Daily she awakens and tells herself “I am strong. I am healthy, and I love life.”


Love your life,
Jo

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