Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'll Never Make It as an Assasin

I'm from the country. I think that's been mentioned once or twice. And like a lot of kids from the country we grew up a little different than city kids. To wit: my dad and his family are avid hunters. I don't mean big game, let's go to Alaska and kill elk and figure out how to get it home on the plane kind of hunters. I mean we all live in the middle of many acres of woods and shoot deer and other things. Mostly which we eat.

Not so much my sister, but my little brother and I were kind of into it. We had bb guns and shot soda cans and practiced with bows and arrows. I liked bows and arrows the best. When I was in junior high or so I got sick of sharing a room with my sister and moved to the spare storage room in the basement. Instead of sharing with my sister, I shared with the piano, the cupboards full of canned fruits, vegetables, and meats, and my dad's gun collection.

Getting ready to go hunting with Dad!
Also around that time I told my dad I wanted to go hunting with him. I was really into Greek mythology when I was younger and I think I had some romantic image of hunting being like Artemis or you know, Hercules and Xena. I should have known better; really I should have. I learned though.

It wasn't deer season yet, thank God for small favors, so I went squirrel hunting with my dad. Frankly I don't remember much. It must have been the trauma. What I do remember though is vivid and horrible. We were walking along enjoying the nature when Dad suddenly lifted his rifle and shot into the trees-like you do. And kudos to Dad for being a good shot, winged a squirrel. Now, this was a regular old brown squirrel, not a flying squirrel (they exist, really) but I swear this thing didn't so much fall out of the tree as it did glide out of it.

Right. Over. My. Head.
Aaaahhhh!! really says it all here
The bloody (which I use both as an expletive and a description) squirrel, flew out of the tree, legs spread wide as though that would somehow stop its plummet to the ground. And in the process, brushed my hair and it passed directly over my head.

I may have screamed a little.

Good shot though my dad my be, he did just wing it. So while I was comforted to know that my hair was sullied only by an injured and dead rodent, I was immediately saddened and upset to see the poor little woodland creature sprawled on the forest ground, literally gasping for breath. It's poor little heart must have been going a mile a minute and its little chest went frantically up and down. While I was concocting how to turn the barn into an emergency vet clinic and save its poor little life, dad had other plans. He just grinned at me, and if you know my dad you know the grin I mean, the I'm-having-so-much-fun-even-though-this-looks-sadistic-and-mildly-sociopathic grin he gets.

And then



He stepped on its head! He freaking stepped on its head!!! Oh and I heard it crunch and squish...

That right there cured me of any romantic hunting fantasies and was used as a reminder about why I couldn't become a hit man (one of my two chosen careers in college). I never went hunting again, never expressed any desire to hunt, and am pretty sure never handled a gun again. 

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