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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Aye, Cap'n

We didn't have a TV when I was growing up. We had a record player. I'm not sure if my brothers will remember, but we had this record:

The Just So Stories appear to be the only things in the world that are not available on YouTube. They were Lamarckian creation legends, and they were over 100 years old. A very unsatisfying version of How the Camel Got its Hump is available through Free Classic Audio Books, but this computerized voice pales in comparison to Captain Kangaroo's version.

The introductory song went like this:
Just sooooo
Just sooooo
They're the stories that we tell of long ago
We weren't here to see it
So we really couldn't know
But they tell us that it happened just so
Once the world was little
Once the world was new
And every twinkling star
Was younger far than yooooou (daa-bee-daa-bee)...

The stories went on to explain how the leopard got its spots, how the elephant got its trunk, and even how the kangaroo got its legs. It has been more than 20 years since I heard them, so I only remember the broad outlines of the last one. A predator of some type (possibly a wolf) gave the kangaroo a head start in a race around the world. Not wanting to be eaten, the kangaroo took off and didn't dare stop. ("Keep going, kid! I'm right behind you!") Somewhere along the way, his hind legs became bigger and stronger. And that's how the kangaroo got its legs.

Captain Kangaroo told us that he wasn't sure that it had actually happened this way, even though his name was Captain Kangaroo.