When I was growing up, there was a ram in my living room. Okay, it wasn’t a whole ram, just a ram’s head hanging on the bricks that covered one wall in my living room above the tv. We put a bow on his head around the holidays, I probably named him Rammy (or something clever like that) and said hi to him as I passed on my way in and out of the front door. It was the most natural thing in the world.
On my way to the basement to play pool or find a game stored under the stairs, I would say hello to Carry the Caribou who was hanging out on the bulkhead in front of the stairwell and then would make my way down the steps, only to stop in my daddy’s den to say hello to 3 other friends:
- Mickey the Moose
- Deery the Deer and
- The unnamed pheasant ~ we’ll call her Phyllis (because I’m a little more clever now.)
As you might have guessed, my daddy was a proud hunter and loved displaying his local and international accomplishments around the house for us all to enjoy.
And we did.
They were part of my life, as much as anything, and I didn’t really think that having heads nailed to the wall was anything out of the ordinary until I was talking with my daughter the other day.
We were talking about moose ~ mooses ~ err.. whatever ~ and I started telling her about Mickey ~ wondering what happened to him since my father’s death. I started rattling off, in a rather excited manner, about all of my other deadhead friends who shared my house and my life.
There I was, chittering all my giddy details of where they lived in my house and how they came to be and all that, when I noticed her face. Her once interested face began to show signs of horror, shock, then horror again ~ as if I were describing a murder scene or the site of some macabre degenerate’s gruesome haunted basement.
That’s when I realized that my family, now, is not a hunting family. We don’t have animal heads hanging up on the walls and no smell of freshly made shotgun shells permeate through the den.
What was normal and natural to me is bizarre and alien to her.
It made me think of upbringings and cultures and how different we all are. Not good, not bad, just different.
It also made me wonder where they all are now, my friends. Hopefully, they are proudly displayed on some loving family’s wall with clever names from loving children.
Is there anything from your childhood that your kids would find completely bizarre? How does your culture differ from your kids? What items were on your walls growing up that you wonder where they are now?