Old Yeller is a childhood movie classic that I have been waiting to watch with Addie for years. Teen Wolf was the last movie I couldn’t wait to see with Addie, and that one turned out to not be so okay for seven-year-old kids. None of those concerns existed with Old Yeller. The problem with watching Old Yeller was finding someplace that had the movie so we could rent it or waiting for it to play on TV.
After a few years of waiting for something or someone to make Old Yeller available, I finally gave up and paid to rent it off of Amazon.
We sat in our chair room as a family and got ready for our family movie night. Casey joked to Addie that she should put the movie in the freezer before the end. I laughed and Addie stared at us like we were idiots. For those who aren’t familiar with Friends, Phoebe’s mom wouldn’t let her finish any scary or sad movies. Instead, her mom would shut them off before they were over so that Phoebe didn’t know there was bad in the world. Consequently, Phoebe had no idea that Old Yeller dies at the end of the movie. Like Phoebe’s mom, Joey from Friends put sad and scary movies and books in the freezer. Casey’s joke was referencing Joey and Phoebe’s reaction to movies like Old Yeller.
Addie intently watched the movie. When the cow in the movie got sick with rabies Addie asked me what was wrong with it. I explained that the cow had rabies and what rabies does to animals. When Old Yeller got sick Addie looked at me with a panicked expression and asked what the cure for rabies was. I told her to watch and find out.
I captured a picture of Addie’s face right as Old Yeller was cured of rabies and then we watched the rest of the movie in silence. When the movie was over I asked Addie if the movie made her sad. She looked at me and said, “No, Old Yeller got better.”
What? The kid had no idea what we were talking about with our subtle nerdy Friends references, but the kid put the movie in the freezer on her own and Old Yeller is alive and well in her brain playing with Travis while chasing hogs and cows.
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