“THE CORN IS AS HIGH AS AN ELEPHANT’S EYE”

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At State Street Elementary School, fifty or more years ago, we had a principal’s whose name is Mr. Wells. He used to sing a song titled, “Oh What a Beautiful Morning.” I always thought it was called: The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye, but it is not.

It sings about a bright golden haze on the meadow, and oh what a beautiful morning, day, feeling and everything is going my way.

It sings about the cattle standing like statues, they don’t turn their heads as they see me ride by, but a little brown mav’rick is winking her eye.

It sings that the sounds of the earth are like music, the breeze is so busy it doesn’t miss a tree and an ole weeping willow is laughing at me.

Then it ends with: Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I’ve got a beautiful feeling; everything’s going my way.

It as you read, only says one line with: The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye. Only once, and to me it is the whole of the song as I remembered it. On further study, I see that the message is not about corn, not about being as high as an elephant’s eye, but a positive and beautiful message about waking up in the morning to a beautiful day, having a beautiful feeling that everything’s going your way.

I am glad to have re-visited this childhood song sung at every assembly during my elementary school days by Mr. Wells.

Now, Mr. Wells was not just a singing principal, he was a strong disciplinarian. A little group of hoodlums at the school harassed all who dared to step into their territory. Mr. Wells seemed to approve of them. I want you to remember as you read; this is elementary school grade 5. As I look back, it seems young to have had such a difficulty. Some people have asked, did you tell your parents? No I did not. I did not want them to think badly of me, as the hoods made me feel about myself.

I dared myself to do lots of things, and one of them was to take my chances with the hoodlums. One of them was so cute; I couldn’t catch my breath as I walked by him. Barely breathing at the sight of the cute hood, one beautiful morning when the corn was as high as an elephant’s eye, I stepped into “Hoodlumville Territory.” They jumped on me and pinched my breasts, spit on my face, kicked my knees and as I scrambled away on all fours, I yelled: ” You Son of a Gun.”

The next morning, I found myself in Mr. Wells’ office with the Hoodlum Gang. Mr. Wells asked me if I cussed at these boys.

I stated, “No.” He said did you say,” You Son of a gun?”

I stated, “Yes.” He asked the Hoods to leave his office and as they did, he took off his belt and slapped my upper body three times. As I turned to leave the office, I coughed out words through my tears, ” I did not know guns had sons.”

It was not such a beautiful morning, it was not such a beautiful day, I didn’t have a beautiful feeling, and everything was not going my way. But, the corn was as high as an elephant’s eye and it looked like it was climbing up to the sky!

Rest In Peace, Mr. Wells.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gary Friedman
    Jun 10, 2015 @ 14:54:41

    And the moral to the story is : Life is unfair. (The secondary moral is, “girls are naturally attracted to the bad boys”.)

    Reply

  2. Sheila Clapkin
    Jun 10, 2015 @ 16:12:20

    Oh yes to:”Life is unfair.” and isn’t it still true at all ages for girls that they do love those bad boys. What’s the deal?? BBBBig Bad and Bold!!!

    Reply

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