“Gumbo, that’s a strange name for a dog,” said the first woman. “Why’s he called gumbo?” “Well, he lives down by the bayou and is a mixture, like gumbo –he’s got a lot of different things in him. He’s about five different kinds of dog,” answered the other woman.
The conversation veered to another dog’s name, but the first woman steered the conversation back saying “I’m still interested in this dog named Gumbo. How’s he different?”
The second woman thought before answering. “He’s always dragging something in. Toys show up in the front yard. Once he brought home a six-pack of beer holding it by the plastic strap. It only had one can of beer left, but it hadn’t been opened.”
Gumbo sounded like a perfect name for that dog. I can picture his golden Spaniel ears flapping in the wind as he bounds through the grass to the call of “Here Gumbo, Here Gumbo!”
The word “gumbo” conjures up many pictures, even though the dictionary lists only four meanings – two soups, one dirt, one language. I’ve eaten more than two types of gumbo. I’ve seen the dirt called gumbo on a stretch of highway east of Dallas. I’ve never heard anyone speak gumbo, but I keep listening because you never know what you’ll hear if you really listen. After all, if I hadn’t been listening to the other shoppers in the fabric store, I’d never have learned about the beer-toting dog named Gumbo.