Memories from my childhood only come back to me in bits and pieces like interrupted dreams.
People and places pop in and out of my mind for reasons I do not try to analyze. Sometimes wise words of of wisdom that came from adult relatives pop into my mind.
They are words of wisdom that were designed to teach and guide me and make me a good boy.My first memory of those wise words of advice came from my Aunt when I was four.
I had overheard my mom say, "hell-shit-damn." She was mad about something but I can't remember
or probably didn't know who or what she was mad at.
I liked those words, so I walked around the house repeating "hell-shit-dam."
My Aunt Ethel was staying with us and heard what I was saying.
She said said, "God doesn't like little boys that swear and if he hears you he will get the
'Darning Needles' (Dragon Flies) to sew your mouth shut."I cannot remember trying to logically analyze those words but I do know they were not words that scared me.
They were words created a challenge for me. They dared me to test the truth of such wisdom.
Those words challenged me to test the Dragon Flies' ability to perform such a task.
Those words sent me to hide behind the old Tamarack bush down by the pond and say to the Dragon Flies, “hell-shit-damn”
and then I ran to hide under my bed and giggle and feel all powerful and wonderful because
I had outwitted those nasty old Dragon Flies.
The next day I tested the Dragon Flies again but only after I had strutted past my aunt saying
“hell-shit-damn” just soft enough that she couldn't hear me and then I ran outside to
giggle some more and feel very proud of my bravery.
Then I went to the pond to swear at them again. “Hell-shit-damn” I yelled, mimicking the words my mother would say
and I wasn’t afraid because I was young and brave and powerful and fast.I won those battles with the Dragon Flies and my aunt never had a clue that the battles were even fought.
I have never forgot those words of wisdom from my aunt and whenever I see a Dragon Fly
I cannot help but think of her, my mom and those three little words, “hell-shit-damn.”