This morning, for no discernible reason except to make us both happy, I suppose, my friend Kristina texted me a picture of Natty Gann from the 1985 Disney film The Journey of Natty Gann. I nearly choked on my tea. What a memory!
My sisters and I loved that film. She was inspiring and tough and a girl. Natty’s ragamuffin style has influenced our sartorial choices at different times in our respective lives. I’ll wager both my sisters have, as I do, a tweed newsboy cap that is perfect for chilly November days in Chicago and New York and I’m 100% we all have at least one pair of fingerless gloves. From The Journey of Natty Gann, my sisters and I got a good role model, fashion advice, and a deep desire to own a wolf and ride the trains like a bum.
Thinking they would get as much pleasure from this out-of-the-blue picture of Natty as I did, I texted it to both Hannah (older sister) and Rebecca (younger sister.) What transpired was so life-affirming and weird, I thought I’d better share it with a wider audience:
They freestyle rapped about Natty Gann. Both of them. For awhile.
“What do you mean, ‘freestyle rapped about Natty Gann?’ you ask. Well, I’m about to show you.
What follows are actual transcripts of the rhymes my sisters made about Natty Gann this morning, totally off the cuff, via text messages. I just watched it all happen. I have no idea how they were doing this so quickly. The first one to the plate was Rebecca.
“This is a rap about Natty Gann; she’s a cool chick who doesn’t need no man.
Looking for her daddy with her new friend Harry; they got some chemistry maybe one day they’ll marry.
Her dad’s a logger workin’ in the rain; Natty’ll find him, just gotta hop this train.
Her best friend’s Wolf a.k.a., a dog; he’s a bada**, you can’t even see him through fog.
Natty’s got style, Natty’s got class; don’t call her girlie, she’ll kick your a**.
Within a matter of minutes, Hannah replied with this:
“Natty Gann got a dope newsboy cap; she wears a lotta tweed and takes no crap.
The Great Depression was no joke; her dad took off cuz er’yone was broke.
Natty walked da Earth to reunite; she and Wolf were mad brave, and it turned out alright!”
There was apparently time for one more, from Rebecca:
“Natty Gann, Natty Gann, sorry ’bout your momma; them’s the breaks in Depression Era drama.
Look on the bright side, you can hang with a Cusack; and you just got a bindle, a.k.a. a hobo’s pack.
As a kid I remember thinking your dad was real hot; please heat me some beans in your little vagabond pot.”
I love my sisters very, very much. They show me that while I’m weird, there are others like me.