How I Learned English and Came to Love Animals

While I spoke strictly Spanish at home, I learned English not through my bilingual Catholic school.

No, I learned it by watching Dallas, Dynasty, and Disney.

The opening credits for Dallas had the catchiest tune I had ever heard (it’s still the catchiest tune ever dreamed of).

But Season 7’s opening credits were the best because they showed cows running through a pasture, and I thought that was the coolest thing because I had always thought of a cow as “stationary animal.” It just sits there, munching on grass, swapping flies lazily with its tail.

But not the cows on Dallas. The cows on Dallas ran, and they ran fast. See the the cow run in in the first few seconds of the credits (if you watch closely, you can see a galloping cow): 

Dallas got me interested in cows. It also got me interested in Larry Hagman’s cowboy hat–it had a baby blue tint to it and it never fell off his head. I have yet to see a cowboy hat in baby blue again.

Then, there was Dynasty. I love John Forsythe and Linda Evans. But ohh, its opening credits: John Forsythe drinking cognac from a snifter, Linda Evans walking down a stairwell in a lavender gown, and my favorite part came when Pamela Sue Martin was introduced: you can see a beautiful chestnut horse running while she is wearing an uber-sparkly red evening dress. I didn’t care for Pamela, but I did care for the horse.

Witness the poetic solo equine run:

Dynasty got me interested in horses. Since then, I’ve always wanted to have a horse that looks just like that. As a result, it’s one of my life’s goals: to have a chestnut horse that looks exactly like the one seen in the opening credits.

Dynasty also got me interested in how to do a CAT-fight correctly. Thank you, Alexis (Joan Collins) for being the perpetual instigator. “What broach?” Indeed, what broach:

Too bad you didn’t see the spare mannequin arm that Krystle (Linda Evans) picked up to hit you squarely on your ass, I mean arse.

But let’s get back to that horse and ignore the cats. All I wanted was to learn how to talk about horses in English. I already knew how to do this in Spanish, but I wanted to talk about horses in English, thank you. Disney heard my plea and gave me a gem: a cartoon about a horse with a song AND English subtitles, which you could follow along with a bouncing Mickey head:

And boom went the dynamite.


One thought on “How I Learned English and Came to Love Animals

  1. Totes Kray says:

    Ah, the golden era of Disney singalong shorts! A childhood staple. Thanks for the memory, Pola.

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