"That was not a pleasant place to be."

By Meghan Overdeep
February 16, 2021
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Dating in the Smoky Mountains isn't for the faint of heart.

In a round of "True Confessions" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon earlier this month, Dolly Parton recounted a tale from her teen years that would make anybody's hair stand up on end.

The country icon, who was matched against actor Noah Centineo, wasn't lying when she shared that, "a date kicked me out of a car and made me walk home at night through a forest with bears and bobcats."

"I heard them, felt them," Parton added. "That was not a pleasant place to be."

The songstress, who estimated that she was about 17- or 18-years-old at the time, went on to explain the situation to a baffled Fallon and Centineo, beginning with the fact that she only went out with him because he had a car.

"It was a nice car," Parton recalled. "I think it was a Chevy. Maybe a '57?"

As for why she got kicked out of his car five miles from her home in the middle of the woods, the East Tennessee native said it was a "put out or get out kind of situation."

At this point, it was clear to Centineo and Fallon that Parton was telling the truth.  

"But I did learn something that night though. I thought if that ever happens to me again, I'm definitely giving it up," she added. "I would rather be chewed on by a boy than a bear."

Oh, Dolly!

Listen to Southern Living's "Biscuits & Jam" podcast to hear interviews from Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Darius Rucker, and more!