Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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Presents :: Johnny Lingo

Stella had woken up at four o'clock in the night and saw two boys walking around outside our house; she heard one of them say that he wanted a bike and was worried that they'd try to steal hears, which was chained to a bar outside.

The anxiety combined with getting up too quickly weren't too good for her circulatory system, and she couldn't get back to sleep very well so she slept in this morning.

She got up at around eight o'clock and said she wanted to see the presents. I had realised yesterday I had forgotten to wrap them but she said that wasn't a problem, and so I simply placed them on the kitchen table last night and put a tablecloth over them so that she wouldn't see them before this morning.

I gave her two pairs of silver earrings with something sparkly in them, a plastic cow figure, four curved BRIO rails, and a packet of licorice. She also got a present from Sister Bruns, which she had given to me yesterday at church: it was a sheet of stickers with the "Footsteps in the Sand" poem together with a little book about the poem and the story behind it.

The idea of the cows comes from the film "Johnny Lingo" I saw at church as a child… or, rather, from the fact that my father saw it when he was younger. In it, a man pays eight cows for a wife that others esteem as not even worth one, and she blossoms into the potential that Johnny saw in her when he paid that price.

My father liked the film and gave my mother little cows not long afterwards, adding one every once in a while. When I was a little child, I didn't know the story; I only knew that those cows were my mother's and we shouldn't play with them.

When I grew older, I learned the story of the cows and rather liked it. I also gave Stella a couple of cows (I think at or shortly after our marriage), and added another one today to show she is valuable to me. She said that the cow was her favourite present from me today. She's got three cows now—not the eight that Mahana was worth to Johnny Lingo but maybe they'll be more soon when I find some more I like.

I also found another telling of the story, though the wife is called "Sarita" here rather than the "Mahana" I remember from the film; however, the film may have changed the name. (Apparently, there's also a big film coming out called "The Legend of Johnny Lingo" which is also mentioned here in connection with sponsorship by Morinda, a Noni company.)

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