Sunday, April 03, 2011

Billy Goats Gruff

I've run over this bridge countless times in my 7-plus years of running in Bonelli. I always have the same thought as I trip and tramp over the bridge. The Three Billy Goats Gruff. When I was in grade school, for some reason 3rd grade sticks out, we often had a substitute teacher, Mrs. McLaughlin. It was always a good day when we had a substitute especially when we had Mrs. McLaughlin. Mrs McLaughlin was a retired teacher and she a classmate's, Kevin, grandmother. One day to fill the day she told us the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. She narrated the story complete with voices for each of the billy goats and of course the troll and with wonderful sound effects of the three goats crossing the bridge. Trip, trap, trip, trap - with a clicking of her tongue. We never tired of hearing her tell the story and begged for her to tell it every time she substituted. I can't recall a time that she didn't regale us with the tale of the goats Gruff. I wish a could draw some profound parallels between Mrs. McLaughlin's Three Billy Goats Gruff and running, but that isn't really my forte. Maybe every time I cross that little bridge on the Bonelli Trail I am outwitting those things that may keep me from my running goals or from running at all. The troll that says I'm too slow or too tired will just have to wait for the next guy to come along. The troll of injury that plays havoc with my body and my mental health. Yesterday I walked the bridge rather than run it because I'm nursing my left leg, but I crossed the bridge none the less. The troll will have to wait for another day. If you are the goat, then keep running and don't let that troll get to you. Maybe from the troll's perspective the lesson is to seize the day. You never really know if something else is going to cross that bridge or if what does cross that bridge is the thing that does you in. If you are the troll, then take advantage of each opportunity to run, enjoy it for what it is, not waiting for something better to come along. Either way, I will always think of Mrs. McLaughlin and the Three Billy Goats Gruff each time I pass that bridge, I'll smile and hear the trip, trap, trip, trap in my mind. I hope to pass over that bridge many more times. In the end it wasn't the troll the won out after all.


Joe said...

What fun!! I had forgotten the punch line of that story, Darrell, thanks for including the link! I can see a bunch of 3rd graders loving Mrs. M getting to that ending and smashing the troll to bits.

Actually, you do make the link quite well...walking or running, get over that bridge and go get "fat"!

Great stuff...thanks for the good story and the good smile. Hope you are continuing to heal up!!


ShoreTurtle said...

I was a big fan of that story too.

Greg said...

Thanks for sharing the story. That story was one of my favorites in school too. It may have been harder to get out there today with a sore leg, but it would be even tougher to miss those memories because you did not give it a go, good for you.

Theia said...

Cute story. I bet Mrs. McLaughlin would be so pleased to know she had a lasting impact on you.