mountain musing

Syntactical grammer sounds flaccid at hog callings

I once visited a hog-calling contest. Hurt my ears. Seems like a bone-jarring voice is requisite. Like our neighbor lady when I was a kid. She lived on the hardscrabble farm next to ours and I'd reckon her hog-calling contralto was a natural thing. It should've been good--she exercised it a lot, calling her two errant boys to chores or just to sharpen her already-strident voice.

Those boys, Merle and Marvin, must've worked hard at getting out of range, but two canyons distant wouldn't have been near enough.

I'm told there are aboriginal villages where such sounds as might be heard are muted, the gentle cooing of a mother soothing a fretful child, the low chant of a witch doctor practicing his art.

My own home wasn't what one could call noisy during my childhood, but mom usually had a radio playing. On top of that, she wasn't what you could call gentle in throwing pots and pans about her cookstove. And my yard games were of the defense of Bataan or D-Day on Omaha Beach kind, so I generated lots of exploding artillery and the rattle of small arms fire.

Looking back, one might envy the quiet of those aboriginal villages. Perhaps that envy explains why some among us appreciate solitude and quiet found in remote places. Like those found in my book, Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness.







Roland Cheek is a gifted writer with a knack for clarifying reality
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