“She’ll be driving six wide horses when she comes!”

Say what?When I tell my sister what I used to think about things when I was younger, she puts it to me bluntly: “You were really stupid when you were little, weren’t you?” I always counter the same way, saying that I wasn’t stupid, just a bit naive. Because let me tell you… I’d believe almost anything I heard, even if I misheard it. Nowadays, I have considerably more sense and am willing to get to the bottom of things before believing something. But back then, I was quite gullible, and would often convince myself of why I was right. For instance, you know that song “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain When She Comes”? Well, the second verse goes “She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes”. That’s not how I heard it. I first heard the song when we sang it as a school at the Good Egg assembly at Southside Elementary School (predecessor to Grimes Elementary), I heard “six wide horses”. So there I was, singing “she’ll be driving six wide horses when she comes” as loud as I could, in my little kindergartener voice. I thought to myself, hey, it must be a comfort thing, since a wide horse must be a more comfortable horse to drive than a narrow one. It wasn’t until later that I learned that they were saying “white” horses and not “wide” horses. Another example of a mis-hearing being something that I manufactured into making sense to me was from the song “Pierre” from the musical Really Rosie. The song goes, “There once was a boy named Pierre/Who only could say I don’t care” (you get the point). Well, the scene with the father in it with that song has to do with Pierre standing on his head on top of a folding chair. Note “folding” chair. When the father said, “I’d let you fold the folding chair”, I heard it as “I’d let you bowl the bowling chair” and then later when Pierre’s mother hit the lion with the folding chair, I registered it as “and hit him with the bowling chair”. It made perfect sense to me at five years old. Duh! It’s a chair you sit in when you go bowling. Thus the bowling chair. I never could figure out, though, why you would want to bowl the bowling chair. That made more sense once I realized we were folding a folding chair, not bowling a bowling chair. As a side note about that whole bit, when I was searching for Pierre lyrics, on the page I found the lyrics, the webmaster comments, “It’s no wonder Pierre doesn’t care about things, if the big reward in the family is to be able to fold the folding chair.” And last but not least, let’s not forget how naive I was when it came to more mature topics. When I was nine years old, The Cosby Show was showing its seventh season. The third aired episode of that season was “Last Barbecue”, described as “A family barbecue heats up when Theo plans an overdue bachelor party for Martin – complete with stripper.” Now I had no idea at the tender age of nine that a stripper was someone who took all of their clothes off in front of other people for money. Oh, no. The only kind of stripping I knew about back then was when Mom would tell me to go strip my bed so that she could wash the sheets. Thus I was very confused. Theo was considering hiring a stripper for Martin’s belated bachelor party. So I was rather confused. What was the point of it? Why would you hire someone (and thus pay someone) to come to your bachelor party, and take the sheets off your bed? I thought it was a rather ridiculous thing to do. And why were they making such a big deal out of it? In fact, one thing said was, “She comes in, strips, and then leaves.” Easy enough. They come in, take the sheets off the bed, and then leave. What’s the harm in this? I didn’t see anything wrong with this at all, and if anything, I thought it was rather silly to hire someone specifically to take the sheets off your bed. Sure, I didn’t like having to strip my bed, but between stripping the bed myself and hiring someone else to do it for me, I’d strip my own bed and save a few bucks (since it couldn’t have cost that much, or else they had better do a REALLY great job pulling all the sheets off the bed). It definitely says a lot about childhood innocence, doesn’t it? Children don’t have all the facts about everything, simply due to having not been exposed to it yet (sometimes for good reason in the case of the last one), and the conclusions that children come up with can indeed be interesting in their innocence. And they also make great laugh material when I’m looking back at what I used to believe when I was littleā€¦

Date posted: December 1, 2003