Posted on November 1, 2014 by Patricia Ann McNair11.1.2014 Journal Prompt Photo by Robert Capa November 1, 2014: The story of how they met went like this. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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They was allus tellin stories. Makin things up and pretendin they was tellin true. Like when they said as how they met. The very first time. There’s a hundred different stories ‘bout that and I swear that none of ‘em is less than a mile from the truth.
Mam says as how she was lost one day, in the middle of a tangled wood and she’d left a trail of white pebbles behind her, only they’d rolled away into dark places. Mam said da was a woodcutter then and he heard her callin and he cut a clear path through the knotted trees and he lifted her on his shoulders so her head was almost in the clouds and she could see the way out.
Da has a different story. He says as how he was wanderin home one day, mindin his own beeswax, and he heard a girl singin. It was like a enchantment and he went out of his way to find out who it was that sang so softly and so sweetly. Mam was the girl in his story, and she was pretty as flowers or butterflies, and she was shut up in a high tower. She had long hair then, and she was leaning out of the window of the tower and her hair blowing like a yellow flag in the wind. We all knowed that da was gonna rescue mam and he’d climb up her hair to do so; we knowed that even when he told that story for the first time. It was obvious, but all the same we sat listenin in suspense.
Or in another of his tales our mam was chained to a rock and a dragon needed slayin and our da was stupid or brave or in the right place at the wrong time. Or mam said that da won her in a contest and he had to enter a labyrinth and fight a bull-headed beast, and mam gave him a spool of silver thread so he could lay an unwindin trail to find his way back to her.
Or da was a prince cut out of stone and standing on the lofty top of a stone pillar and mam was a swallow that did not fly south for the winter. That story was a bit confusin, but the long and the short of it was that the swallow so loved the stone prince that his stone heart began beatin and he scooped up the winter-weak swallow and he put her under his stone coat and it was warm there and winter gave way to summer and they lived happy ever after.
The truth was a lot less excitin but no less straighforward. Da was out cyclin and he lost his way and he stopped in at the pub in the centre of our village. And there was our mam and she was servin behind the bar and she called him handsome boy and he called her pretty lady. The pub’s called The Wishbone and when da tells it, he says as how he wished mam to be his wife and he wished for two kiddies and there names’d be Paulie and Kim – and that’s exactly what he got, all in the blink of an eye.
Mam tells it a bit different. She says as how da was a quiet lad and all by hisself and she wouldn’t have noticed him ‘cept he put a silver shillin in the jukebox at the back of The Wishbone bar and by chance he chose her favourite song. And that’s when she started callin him handsome and he started callin her pretty.
Da don’t go cyclin and I ain’t never seen him on no bike, never. And mam says she don’t remember exactly what was the song da picked on the jukebox back then, or if she does, it’s a different song from the one da says he chose. None of their stories add up, not one of ‘em, ‘cept they all end the same: with mam and da kissin, and then they kiss me and Paulie and they put out the light in our room and they tell us ‘good night, sleep tight, and don’t be letting no bed bugs bite,’ and we sleep sound as a bell and dreamin our own stories of mam and da and how they met.