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A Lesson in Courage

Updated on October 11, 2014

How Courageous

Nathan Bedford Forrest grew up in the Tennessee and Mississippi regions of the Americas. He relied heavily on personal physical strength and undoubtedly times of trial and error. I mention trial and error because the example that I am about to give to represent courage could succeed or fail depending on "God knows what."

The story goes that he was riding horseback along with a few other children of his age, probably all in their early teens. There was a house on their regular path that they took which had quite a few ravenous dogs that would ferociously chase and torment Forrest and his mates. During the time period that they lived in, middle 1800's, kids, or the more adept ones, learned to ride horses bareback. The manner of riding probably being learned from the Native Americans seemed normal for the youngsters.

Forrest and his friends feared the viciousness of these dogs and never got off horseback near the dog's territory. One day of riding happened to be the time when Forrest's horse took a misstep and led to Forrest being vaulted from the equine onto the ground right into the midst of the heinous dogs.

Forrest thought to himself that he was immediately in danger of being ripped to shreds by the dog's canines. He called to his friends to come to his aid but, it was no use for they had either rode off or stood helpless to watch him be devoured like a piece of meat. But, Forrest said that when he looked up from the ground he saw, to his astonishment, the tails of the beasts as they ran away from his helpless body on the vulnerable ground.

Forrest later realized or came to the decision that the dogs had been so surprised by his aggressive torpedo like ejection from the horse that they wanted nothing to do with that type of aggressive action. He went on to say that this event stuck with him throughout life. And he tried to use it as an example of how courage could send the most fortuitous enemy in the opposite direction. And that it didn't seem to matter whether he had been afraid at the moment of ejection but, that his aggressive action of being shot at the enemy dogs was all it took to send them to their place.

I can't always understand how there is a difference between fear, courage or bravery for that matter. They all seem to congeal into each other to make one indistinguishable from the other. But, I hope that at least one person receives something near the same conclusion that I did from the story. And Forrest too.

What caused the dogs to run?

Which feeling describes what occurred here?

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