Let’s play.


It’s time to dive into all those slightly disturbing repressed memories and remember….



I know most people will pick a horror film like the Exorcist…. and granted, Linda Blair’s spinning head and projectile vomit was enough to keep anyone up at night… but for me there’s only one answer.



Yes, the heartwarming true story of Elsa the adopted lioness cub that became a beloved pet but had to be released back into the wild when grown damn near wrecked me.

I’m an animal lover to the N’th degree. I rescue the ones I can and weep for the ones I can’t. I come by it naturally as my mother and father were also animal crazy. We always had a houseful of stray pets and wounded birds when I was a child. My father was Scottish, but raised in England. Stiff upper lip et al. He wasn’t a man to give in to his emotions in public, but I saw him weep like a baby at the vet when his beloved dog died. What can I say? We’re animal people.

I can’t watch the commercials about abused pets, I have nightmares and wake up screaming. As a kid I refused to watch Sounder, the Yearling and most of the Lassie tv series. I was a tender hearted young soul.

But when Born Free finally came to television my mother decided it was a good family film and we would all watch it. What the hell was she thinking! I saw elephants and antelopes shot. I saw a woman being eaten by a man eating lion. My mother’s innocent family film turned out to be pretty bloody.

I, like everyone else, fell in love with Elsa the adorable frolicking cub. I loved her even more as she grew to become a proud lioness… and wanted her to live happily with the Adamsons forever. And ever, amen.

Seeing George and Joy forced to set her free had me weeping, openly gasping for breath. I couldn’t shake the sadness. Not that night, or the next. I kid you not… I was one depressed little girl for weeks on end after watching that damn film. And the song? Wow. To this day I can’t hear it without choking up.

So there you have it. Jaws didn’t scare me. Texas Chain Saw Massacre had me chuckling. The Omen? Come on…

But Born Free? That was pure unadulterated trauma.

So how about you? What childhood movie permanently scarred your psyche…


36 thoughts on “Let’s play.”

  1. Same here, I saw it once when I was a kid and never have again. I use to give ASPCA when I had my other job, but I had to stop because I can’t afford it anymore. But I’m with you I’m an animal lover and it tears me up when I hear of someone abusing an innocent animal. Charlie is a rescue, well technically he reduced us because he just showed up to our house one day and decided we were his humans. That like furry vampire cat…lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve never bought a pet, they’ve either found us as strays or we adopt from a shelter. I’ve read about some squirrelly money practices with the ASPCA so I tend to give to local shelters and rescues where I know the money goes to the animals and not a corporate entity. As for Born Free…. once was enough for me too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. An animal lover – minus evil red squirrels who deserve to die!

    Sorry, it’s a horror movie – two actually. Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (a quintessential zombie movie) AND The Other (a true horror of a movie about identical twins – one good, one bad) and the evil that ensues when the “good” one tries to prevent THE OTHER from killing pretty much everyone who got in the way. SPOILER ALERT: the good one was actually the bad one and he had killed the bad one and was pretending he – the bad one – was still alive. SHIT and a HALF. Do NOT watch either. Ever.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. We have a copy of Drag Me to Hell. It’s not scary but it is well made. Sam Raimi is one of my favorite current directors. Children shouldn’t play with dead things is another fine addition to our collection.
        I can’t really say that I was traumatized by a movie, but I do remember the first one that scared the ever lovin’ crap out of me. It was a trilogy, directed by the great Mario Bava, and introduced by none other than the legendary Boris Karloff, titled Black Sabbath. The second and third parts weren’t all that good, but the first one was excellent. My big sister and I watched it with the babysitter while our parents were out on a date. We looked pretty freaked out, I guess, when my mom and dad got home. It went away by Monday morning, so I could tell my classmates all about it. My mom was worried that I might grow up to be an axe murderer.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jaws was terrible when I was young. But what was worse was Scream! When they were watching television and saying “This isn’t real” but it was actually happening,. That messed me up. I don’t think I have seen the whole thing, yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

    There’s the scene where the folding chair attacks Snoopy. I’ve developed an irrational fear of lawn furniture and have never been able to lounge comfortably since seeing that.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. 1956. My best friend just got the first television on the block. I was 6 years old, and had no conception of visual fiction. Never been to a theatre. That first night we refused to stop watching the TV. Then the:
    Late Movie! I cannot temember the name of the movie if I ever kmew it. A man-eating tiger was loose on the streets of a cty. It ate a number of people before it was trapped and probably killed. But I had no idea it was not real. My house was 1/2 a block away, and it was dark out. No way was I walking home by myself with a possible man-eating tiger out there. I phoned home on our new-fangled non-party-line phone and asked for someone to come pick me up and walk me home safely. My brother finally came and protected me.
    That was how I learned the difference between visual fact and fiction. I got razzed for werks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I never saw Born Free and it’s probably a good idea. Like you, things like that stay with me forever and it’s heartbreaking.

    For me, it was Carrie with Sissy Spacek. In the last scene where the hand comes up out of the grave/ground…I forever imagined that hand coming up from the toilet and getting me when I pee. (I was nine)

    I do not watch scary movies any longer and I try to avoid those with Animals when I know it’s gonna be a bad ending.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Carrie’s an awesome movie in pretty much every way. The hand coming up from the ground, followed by Amy Irving screaming and the crazy music; nobody’s living happily after here. Thank you Stephen King.

      Liked by 2 people

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