Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Little Girl

Me. And my Daddy.
My first experience with the radio . . .

Mom must have heard the sobs.
She came out of the kitchen, drying her hands on a towel. “Diane?”
More sobs.
“Diane, where are you?”
She followed the heartbroken sounds to the couch.
To behind the couch.
To the little four-year-old who had crawled between the piece of furniture and the large picture window just behind.
I looked up at her.
Can’t you just see the little tear-stained face?
Mom smiled at me and reached out to pull me into her arms. “Diane, what’s wrong?”
The two of us sat down on the couch.
Mom dabbed at my face with her towel. “What’s wrong, sweetheart?”
“He left her, Mom!” I managed at last.
Mom stared at me. “Who? Left who?”
“He left her. His little girl. Why did he leave her?”
Mom’s face was a veritable cornucopia of expressions.
Worry.
Defiance.
Sympathy.
Defense.
With a large dollop of confusion.
“Honey, what are you talking about?”
“The man!” I looked at her intently through drenched eyes. Surely she knew him. She had been listening to him. I reached out and grasped her arm, giving it a shake. “The man you were listening to!” I looked away. “He was so sad ‘cause he had to leave his little girl in gings-tin-down.” I looked back at her. “Why did he leave her?”
Mom’s face suddenly lit up. “Oh. The radio!” she said.
It was my turn to stare at her. “The radio?”
She cuddled me closer. “Honey, you were listening to a man singing on the radio!”
“But he left his little girl! He said!” I scrubbed at my nose with a slightly grubby hand. “And he was sad.”
Mom smiled. “It was just a song,” she said.
“But his little girl!” I couldn't get past the thought that, somewhere, there was a little girl who was missing her daddy.
“He’s not actually talking about a little girl . . .” Mom began.
“But he said!” I broke in. “I heard him! He said his little girl!”
“In this case he’s talking about his wife or sweetheart.” She tightened her arms around me. “Sometimes men call their wives or sweethearts, ‘little girl’.
I felt my face twisting into my favourite - and most effective - confused expression. “What?”
She nodded. “It’s just their way of saying, I love you.”
“Oh.” I thought about that for a minute.
Just then the front door opened.
Tears and forlorn little girls forgotten, I leaped down from Mom’s lap and headed for the front hall. “Daddy! It’s Daddy!”
Tall and strong, he was there to scoop me up. “How’s my little girl?” he said.

True story.
And here's the exact song, by the incomparable Harry Belafonte. Enjoy!
I have Kleenex . . .



12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It's funny how it's all so clear in my mind. 55 years ago. And yet I couldn't tell you what I ate for breakfast this morning . . .

      Delete
  2. And now, radio hardly exists. Oh, for imagination! Nothing left to it any longer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. The imagination can take you ANYWHERE!

      Delete
  3. Kids do take everything literally don't they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We call our little ones "Captain Obvious".

      Delete
  4. Ohhh, Diane ... pass those Kleenex, please! You were truly a little girl who loved her daddy and could empathize, weren't you! What a great story. And thanks for the link to that wonderful video clip. I watched the 1997 live version after watching the original. Loved them both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't you just love it?! That is the iconic song of my childhood. I can still remember how upset I was that the daddy had to leave his little girl.

      Delete
  5. Its funny how kis react to different music! Tgat wS always ny hiding spot behind the couch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was room for both of us back there! :)

      Delete
  6. Oh, I do love this sweet story! Blessings and hugs for the tears on this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, LeAnn! One of my fondest memories!

      Delete

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