Monday, February 19, 2007

Old Yeller and lost Innocence


Recently, and I mean as in within the last week, my kids were listening to Old Yeller on tape as their mammy drove them around town. Now someone should have placed a forewarning label on the book or the “book on tape” cause there is no mention of the possibility that your kids might not know what the word “castration” means.

So there was my wife just driving along, listening to the narrator telling the story when much to her surprise, he tells the listener that it was time to go castrate the pigs. Stop. Rewind.

Mommy, what does “castration” mean? There were all four kids in the car: ages 2, 5, 8 and 10. The two youngest couldn't really care all that much about the story, but the other two certainly were engrossed enough to ask and listen for the answer.

The way my wife tells it [I hope she’ll forgive me if I get it wrong], she replied that males have the little ball sacs on either side of their “pooder” [call it what you will]. Those little ball sacs have the boy part that helps make babies. If they let the boy pigs grow up with them, then their meat gets all tough and isn’t very tasty so they cut them off [upon which my oldest boy exclaimed, “Ouch!”.…and then she resumed play. However, my wife mentioned that she could literally see [through the rear-view mirror] the wheels turning inside the head of our 8 year old boy, as he was trying to figure out the whole “boy part that helps make babies”. Much to her relief, that was enough of an answer to satisfy their inquiry and then they chose to keep playing the tape and found out that Old Yeller dies and that was sad...a double wammy.

20 comments:

~cari~ said...

Hats off to R! I wouldn't know how to explain something like that so well.

Books on tape in the car...great idea!

Lucky Red Hen said...

Very good explaination EXCEPT the 'pooder' part. Isn't a 'pooder' the part you 'poo' from? All I could think of was balls on either side of a pig bunghole. I don't want to think of that.

sue-donym said...

Wow, castration and dog death all in one day. Your boys may be traumatized for life.

Great explanation though. Good for Mammy. I would have totally chickened out and said something like "Ask you Dad later".

I understood the pooder part.

Papa J said...

Hey, not only does it make the meat taste better but it also helps the animal grow bigger and be more passive.

Hormones mess everything up.

Now try explaining what a eunuch is when you stumble across that word in your scripture study.

Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

Oh, those fun kiddo questions. Your wife did great. I don't know that my kids would've even bothered to ask.

Color me uncultured - I didn't know it was a book before it was a movie. In fact I've never seen it all the way through. The only parts of it I know are "ARLIS!" which my brothers would always finish, "Getcho hands outta yo pants!" And the song, of course.

compulsive writer said...

I so empathize.

hammer of the gods said...

Here Yeller!
Come back Yeller!
Best Doggone Dog in The West!

I love that movie. It was on KBYU the other day and yup, I watched it.

Lyle said...

hammer- Did You watch it with Captain?
Did Captain cry at the when old yeller died?

papa j- eunuch is only one of many in the scriptures that takes some explaining.

Cari- half the explanation came from the book itself...come to find out, my 8 yr old is still puzzling out this riddle. It looks like I'll have to have a wee bit more of a discussion with him.

lucky- You funny, like me.

Sue-amazing how these conversations never happen when or how you want them to.

millie- I've never been able to sit all the way through the movie either.

compulsive-I'm sure you've been around that block before.

hammer of the gods said...

Its his favorite movie all-time second only to any and all Charlie Brown and Snoopy specials.

~j. said...

"...enough of an answer to satisfy their inquiry..."

Perfect.

compulsive writer said...

Well not only that, but I've actually assisted in castration before. That's always fun to explain as well. The effect that information has on some people can work to my advantage when necessary.

Allen said...

I still remember my own experience as a boy asking these questions. It still makes me smile.

becks said...

i had some FHE bros in college, i was in idaho, that got to help our 1st counselor castrate some cows. unbeknownst to me and my roomies, they cooked the castrated parts, and told us to try a sample of it. it wasn't disgusting, but i wouldn't eat it again. it was only when we were eating a yummy eclair dessert when they told us that we had eaten rocky mountain oysters!

Queen Scarlett said...

So I had no idea what was really done in a castration (pet-less) and... that sucks. Do they do that to humans too? Someone mentioned Eunuchs... oh that's an awful image.

compulsive writer said...

becks: Ewwwwww! I've cut them off, but never eaten them.

Melody said...

You know what they say: it's never too early to start talking to your kids about castration...

And, just a thought, but, now that they know what it means (kinda), when the boys are 17 their girlfriends' fathers won't have to work as hard to intimadate them.

Melody said...

P.S. I'm late to the party, as usual, but I love the story, can't resist throwing in my 2 cents... and thanks for adding me to your sidebar!

b. said...

"Hello the house!!!" (Mr Fatguy yelled that when he and his daughter dropped by unexpectedly for an expected supper with Old Yeller's family)
That's what I want people to say when coming down my lane.

Lyle said...

melody- "it's never too early to start talking to your kids about castration..." oh, how grateful I am that such an expression is not commonly used.

b.- careful what you ask for.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

Let us weep not for our friend, Old Yeller, for we know that he passed with a foaming mouth and wild eyes into a better place beyond the heavens and into.............a bag of Old Yeller dog food. Now, we may all continue to enjoy him and his companionship. My dish overfloweth.