Sunday, January 07, 2007

That's bull!

On our way up to Salt Lake yesterday, we were talking about family stories. Josie said, "Tell the story about the bull."

We all stopped talking to look at her with puzzled looks on our faces, except for Andrew who eagerly awaited the story about the bull.

David and I were thinking, "What bull story?" while mom was thinking, "What bowl story?"

Josie clarified, "You know, the story where the bull chases two boys down the street..."

After thinking for a few seconds longer, something in my mind clicked. Bull...bully. Oh, that's it.

"Josie," I said, "I think you're thinking of when a bull-y chased Grandpa and one of his brothers down the wooden side walk. There is no story about a bull."

"Oh," Josie says, "Bull...bully...what's the difference?"

Well, it's kind of a big difference! One creates a mental picture of an angry 1-ton animal, snorting steam through his nose and pawing at the ground while he aims his horns. The other is a mental picture of a mean kid tormenting some smaller kids. That's kind of a big difference in my mind!

The story is that when Grandpa was young, he and his brother would be chased home from school everyday by a bully. Since the sidewalks were made of wood back then, you can imagine the racket they made everyday as they tried to outrun the bully.

Great-Grandpa worked nights in the coal mine and slept during the day, so when his boys would come tearing down the sidewalk, it would disturb his sleep. So, one day he said to his boys, "If you come running down that side walk one more time I'm going to take off my belt and whip you!"

The next day the bully once again started terrorizing the boys and they started running for their lives! As they approached their house, they saw Great-Grandpa in the window, slowly removing his belt.

Both boys decided enough was enough. Grandpa turned around and dove at the bully's feet, knocking him over. As soon as the bully was down, Uncle Clyde jumped on him and started pounding him.

Their troubles were over. They could walk home from school calmly, without ever waking Great-Grandpa up (or receiving a whipping).

Do you see how that story would be a little different if it featured an actual bull?

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