Reading Old Yeller aloud with the kids, I was fine until Travis’s papa was talking to him about having to shoot Old Yeller:
“That was rough,” he said. “That was as rough a thing as I ever heard tell of happening to a boy. And I’m mighty proud to learn how my boy stood up to it. You couldn’t ask any more of a grown man.”
and then later, when his papa is trying to encourage a proper response to life’s adversity:
“It’s not a thing you can forget. I don’t guess it’s a thing you ought to forget. What I mean is, things like that happen. They may seem mighty cruel and unfair, but that’s how life is part of the time.
“But that isn’t the only way life is. A part of the time, it’s mighty good. And a man can’t afford to waste all the good part, worrying about the bad parts. That makes it all bad. . . . You understand?”
I’m sure I didn’t cry when I first read this as a nine-year old. As a 37-year old father of three, I had to take a couple of breaks.