Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hidden Mickeyisms 7: Disney’s “Brave” and the Three Little Brothers’ Entelechy

Perhaps, no one else saw it because few others lived through it. What I saw in Disney’s “Brave” was an entelechy that struck me, as if I were looking in a mirror. I saw myself, my next older brother Tim (nearly 2 years older than I) and my oldest brother Rod (nearly 2 years older than Tim) in the characters of Merida’s three little brothers, the triplets--Hamish, Hubert, and Harris. These three Scottish boys were tricksters. They were constantly performing pranks designed to accomplish nothing more than to entertain the boys themselves. They tied their father’s boots to the table, as their father ate dinner. They sneaked throughout the secret passageways of the castle. They devised numerous tricks to steal treats. And, when their mother was magically turned into a bear (and they were subsequently turned into cubs) their trickster characters remained intact as they used trickery to help Merida save their mother from their clueless father. As personal members of the Scottish Lindsay clan, Rod, Tim, and I were aware of our Scottish roots. We knew that the Lindsay clan had our own Lindsay plaid cloth, a coat of arms, and even our own castle in Scotland—Edsel Castle. I remember a Scottish song about trickster brothers that our dad, Andrew Lindsay, used to “sing” to us: “There was a man who had two sons, and these two sons were brothers. Sing, brothers, sing! Tobias was the older one; Biangus was the other. Now, these two boys they bought a mule; they bought it on a Monday. Tobias rode it all the week; Biangus on a Sunday. Now, these two boys they bought a mule, and that poor mule was blind. Tobias always rode before; Biangus on behind.” Just as Hamish, Hubert, and Harris (and Tobias and Biangus) pulled pranks, Rod, Tim, and I jointly entertained each other with pranks. Our seriously overweight neighbor lady routinely traveled the same route through a grassy area as she came daily to drop in on my mother and chat, uninvited. We had seen westerns in which pits were dug in pathways and re-covered with sticks and twigs. So, we three dug a one-foot deep pit in our neighbor’s preferred pathway, filled it with water, and overlaid it with sticks, twigs, leaves, and grass. We heard the yell and the splash as she tumbled in, then trudged back home to change clothes. It did not occur to us that she could have hurt herself. We simply reveled in the prank. We were always attempting to uncover the secrets of our Christmas presents. One year, Tim and Rod discovered where our dad had hid a major Christmas present for us—a pony cart, to be pulled by our Shetland Pony Smokey. They let me in on the secret—although I did not have the nerve to go sneak a peak. Nevertheless, my dad punished all three of us for this snoopy prank. We were forced to wait until New Year’s Day to try out our new toy. In episodes reminiscent of Merida’s relationship with her three little brothers, I remember hiding in the back seat of the car of my big sister’s boyfriend, so that we could surprise Marilyn and Albert when they came out to sit in the car and kiss. When my oldest sister and her boyfriend borrowed our pony cart to take a romantic ride to the levee, we hid in the weeds and bushes and spied on Barb and Dean, and later, repeated their sweet talk back to them. It is a shame that there are fewer large families, these days. Fewer little boys get to experience the innocent, trickster, prankster camaraderie of Hamish, Hubert, and Harris. Little boys eventually grow up and get caught up in their own individual lives. They sometimes forget what it was like to have brothers—partners in innocent crimes, pranks, and trickery. It sometimes takes an entelechy such as that of the “Brave” triplets to shake us out of our individualism and remind us of how sweet brotherly camaraderie can be.