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.