Friday, January 11, 2008

Jack Tales

I'm sure most of you know that Jack Tales are a traditional genre of storytelling in Appalachia. The tales are most often oral and seldom written so they change from storyteller to storyteller. Jack is the common thread through these tales and even though he is usually in a predicament of his own making he always comes out the winner.

I hadn't thought of Jack Tales (as defined by my father) in many, many years. It all came back to me as I was reading an article in a magazine that referred to Jack Tales as they applied to my life. As a young person for no good reason I would build up and imagine horrible situations and how they would affect me. "I have to wear that ugly dress to the sock hop after the basketball game. (one of the popular girls) told me she hated that dress. If I have to wear that dress no one will dance with me. I'll look stupid. Everyone will laugh at me and talk about how stupid I look. I'm not going to the sock hop and I'm not going to that dumb basketball game either. . . . " and on and on. I NEVER won in my Jack Tales.

I went to bed fairly early last night and went straight to sleep. Early to bed + Straight to sleep = Awake in the middle of the night. At least that's how it works for me. I woke up in the really, really early hours of morning and lay there trying to trying to go back to sleep. First thing I knew I was telling myself Jack Tales which is a sure way to start a pity party and/or make yourself miserable. My Jack Tale had to do with being on vacation at an unknown farm and telling everyone that I knew how to bridle a horse. In my tale I couldn't catch a horse much less bridle it. Then everyone teased me for forgetting how to manage a horse. (In reality, I was riding horseback almost by the time I was walking.) Now how silly is that - making Jack Tales at my age!!! Maybe I'm just getting into my second childhood.

I might add that I laughed at myself for being so silly as I went to the kitchen for a glass of orange juice. Then it was back to bed and back to sleep. This whole blog came to be because I read that article. I guess my father wasn't the only one who called kids imagined trials Jack Tales.

Have you ever told yourself Jack Tales. If so stop now - if not don't start. It's a silly, demeaning thing to do. Think happy thoughts and have a wonderful evening.


AlabamaGal said...

I like reading your blog entries. I hadn't heard it called jack tales before but I have done that before too.
I hope you slept well later! My time clock is all messed up. It's three hours ahead here in Chile.


simonsays said...

I've never heard of jack tales either...but they made me laugh.

I too, hope you got back to sleep although I don't know how you could after oj---no heartburn? LOL

Have a really good weekend!


happyone said...

I'm another one who never heard of Jack Tales but liked your story.

Cheryl said...

Count me in. Funny that we've never heard the term before. I love learning new things. I don't make up Jack Tales. I guess I'm lucky!

This comment has been removed by the author.

I haven't heard of it used in that form, Jack tales, but I have done it and it's amazing how your mind wanders with it.

I LOVE that you new what TRIP THE LIGHT meant or where it came are a wealth of information...
Sleep well, okay?


I forgot to say the trip the light so that was me that was your darling deleter. :)
Just an fyi

bonnie said...

I've not heard of Jack Tales either. I have a pretty convincing imagination though and I've talked myself into some really stupid notions. I'm glad to know they have a name. I must be part Appalachian. Thanks for visiting my blog!

SOUL: said...

well, jamie stole my whole comment. too bad i was late.
but really i just finished a burrito a few minutes ago and the thought of laying down after orange juice made me immediately think of heartburn. and of course you know, i of all people have never heard of a jack tale. i'm lucky to know what a fairy tale is.
oh but i haVE some really good fairy tales to tell.. you know?
you have seen the entire collection haven't you?? i did save them. :))

happy sunday mary.
hope it is a good one

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I am totally unfamilar with the name JACK TALES...this is the very first I've heard of it....

Thanks so much for visiting and for your comment.....
About Sleeping: At this pont in my life ALL my sleeping is broken up into smaller time-increments...An hour, two hours...if I am REALLY REALLY tired...maybe 2 1/2 hours at once. I'm kind of used to it and it's okay...I guess it better be, since that is how it is....LOL!
But I do not feel "sleep deprived"....somehow I seem to get enough....!
Hope you will sleep better, tonight, or if not, Enjoy the quiet time....!

Cheryl said...

Hi Mary,

I could have waited for your new post, but thought I'd write here.

The week before Christmas did get overwhelming for me, mostly because of family stuff, but it's all back to normal now. I'm in the 'regular life' mode now. And thankful for it.