#AtoZChallenge Day C: Contrariwise

I believe I’ve fallen behind.

My Day B (April 2) post went online about five minutes before Day C started in my time zone. Now, less than four hours before Day D begins, I’m just starting on Day C.

Technically, I’m okay–observing the letter of the law (take some time to chuckle over that before reading on) but giving the spirit short shrift.

I haven’t observed a few other guidelines, either. I was supposed to–or maybe just invited to–choose a theme and reveal it here last month. But I couldn’t settle on anything, so I skipped that step.

It’s a shame, because I had a pretty good idea: Contrariwise. In the first place, I love the word. It reminds me of the first time I saw it in print, Alice’s meeting with Tweedledum and Tweedledee:

They stood so still that she quite forgot they were alive, and she was just looking round to see if the word “TWEEDLE” was written at the back of each collar, when she was startled by a voice coming from the one marked `DUM.’

`If you think we’re wax-works,’ he said, `you ought to pay, you know. Wax-works weren’t made to be looked at for nothing, Nohow!’

`Contrariwise,’ added the one marked `DEE,’ `if you think we’re alive, you ought to speak.’

`I’m sure I’m very sorry,’ was all Alice could say . . .

`I know what you’re thinking about,’ said Tweedledum: `but it isn’t so, nohow.’

`Contrariwise,’ continued Tweedledee, `if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.’

I was seven years old, lying on the back seat of my Uncle Joe and Aunt Laura’s new car, on the way home to Del Rio after a week-long visit with family in Fentress, and reading Alice in Wonderland, when all of a sudden, my stomach revolted. We stopped at the next service station so they could hose me down. My grandfather, who occupied the other half of the back seat, somehow managed to stay out of the line of fire. Aunt Laura said, “I told you lying down to read would make you carsick.” But it never had, and it hasn’t since, so I think other forces must have been at work.

Anyway, I’ve loved contrariwise ever since. Go figure.

I learned the base word, contrary, long before Alice. My great-aunt Ethel used it to describe her mare, Lady. It was an apt term. That horse personified the expression, “Beauty is only skin deep.”

She never unseated anyone; she simply refused to cooperate: hard to catch (she could walk faster than I); hard to bridle (she was taller than I); hard to saddle (she found the nearest pecan tree, leaned against it, and walked ’round and ’round while I followed, holding the saddle shoulder high and trying to heave it across a moving target.

Once saddled, she gave up being a moving target and became a stationary one. If I wanted to go one way and she wanted to go another, she didn’t insist on her way. She just stopped. And stood. And stood. And stood.

When I was four or five years old, my father let me ride her around in the little fenced enclosure where we kept chickens while he worked. Every time we neared the gate, she stopped. I would holler for my dad. He would come, say, “I told you not to let her get near the gate,” and lead her past. We would make another circuit. She would stop. I would holler for my dad. He would come, say, “I told you not to let her get near the gate,” and lead her  . . . You get the idea.

So there it was. Contrary Lady. Contrary Kathy.

Oh, darn. It’s nearly midnight. Day D.



To read what other bloggers in the Blogging A to Z Challenge wrote on Day C, click AtoZ.


Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

11 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge Day C: Contrariwise

    1. A pain, yes. I learned while young to operate on GMT (and not to pronounce it “green-witch”), and then somebody decided DST would be a good idea, and sometime when I wasn’t paying attention, UTC appeared out of nowhere, and then I discovered IST, BST, TAI, UT1, and now I read they’re thinking about switching to CET. Much ado. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. They all have their little quirks, don’t they? My best-buddy retired cutting horse, who belonged to a neighbor, was a dear; we covered a lot of territory together . My own horse knew who was boss–she was–and I never convinced her otherwise.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. All of us kids (we kids?) threw up once on a trip to the St. Louis Zoo. I had just eaten a banana and couldn’t eat them again for a long time. Mom tried and tried to figure out what we’d eaten that made us sick. Much later Dad discovered a hole somewhere that let fumes leak into the car. Your post has brought that memory back vividly. I’m not sure if I should thank you for that, but I loved the REST of it. I’m throwing away that last slightly overripe banana now.


    1. That must have been a really fun trip! Considering the reason for the eruptions, you’re all lucky to be alive. I’m sorry my post reminded you of the painful episode. That’s the only time I was carsick; reading while riding has never made me sick, no matter what position I’m in. I was an undiagnosed myopic till I was eight; I read while other passengers were spotting deer and bunnies along the roadside. (It’s “us kids.” “Us” is the object of the preposition “of.” As you already knew. Do they have prepositions in Russia? And objects to go with them?)


      1. The trip was fun, except for that. We also went to Busch Gardens and I saw the Budweiser horses up close in their stalls. That was my favorite part. Of course Russian has propositions. And lots and lots of cases, one especially for propositions, in fact. 🙂


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