I love that scene in The Three Amigos in which Dusty, Lucky, and Ned encounter the Singing Bush. They’re trying to find El Guapo, and, in classic fairy tale fashion, they get vague instructions: go to the Singing Bush and there summon the Invisible Swordsman. Here’s the scene:
I love Dusty Bottoms’ (Chevy Chase’s) eye-rolling dismissiveness of the Invisible Swordsman. He stands in the presence of a Singing Bush, yet the idea of an Invisible Swordsman—well that’s just ridiculous. His skepticism, his off-hand treatment of things that are too much for him to understand, has disastrous results.
But even if Dusty accidentally kills his own sense of wonder, the wondrous survives.
This is a world of marvels that we live in. We grow accustomed somehow to the wonders that surround us—the pearls that come from oysters’ mouths, the spring that emerges from winter’s bare, the heart that turns from stone to flesh when grace and mercy elbow in. Yet the idea that new wonders await is something that we have to be convinced of every day. We scoff like Dusty and—praise be—are proven wrong in our scoffing again and again.
Jonathan Rogers is the author of The Terrible Speed of Mercy, one of the finest biographies of Flannery O’Connor we’ve ever read. His other books include the Wilderking Trilogy–The Bark of the Bog Owl, The Secret of the Swamp King, and The Way of the Wilderking–as well as The World According to Narnia and a biography of Saint Patrick. He has spent most of his adult life in Nashville, Tennessee, where he and his wife Lou Alice are raising a houseful of robustious children.