The last few weeks have been spent screening in my front porch here at the stately manor “Rabbit Run”. As I caulked the gaps in wood that hadn’t been cut straight, an old post came to mind that covered the situation perfectly
Does not color within the lines
When I was seven and serving the first year (I’ll explain being seven years old and in the first grade later) of a six-year sentence at Summerville Elementary, a note was sent home to my mother.
“Does not color within the lines. Very messy”.
No truer words were ever written about me. Those eight simple words portended great feats to come.
Before concluding my studies at Summerville Elementary, I became a legend for an episode involving oil-based paint, a floor fan running at high speed and a room full of parents and teachers attending a clean-up day.
Loading Your Own
JD and my second attempt at producing a hand crafted firearm was much more ambitious than our first and came about two years after the time we blew a hole through the side of his dad’s garage. Our hearing had mostly returned to normal by then, although the tan on our backsides seemed to be rather permanent. We were inspired to make a new attempt by Mikie’s dad’s brand new hobby of reloading his own shells.
This new “black powder” gun utilized manufactured gun powder thoughtfully supplied by Mikie’s dad. Or to put it another way, we borrowed a few of the several boxes of 12ga. shotgun shells he had reloaded for an upcoming dove shoot. We were under strict orders not to touch the many guns around our houses without an adult’s permission, but nothing was said about the ammunition. He was, at least, smart enough to keep the loose powder secured. The powder the #9 shot supplied was much better than the rather crude though effective type that we had made using sulfur, charcoal and nitrate for our first black powder gun.
To avoid detection, we decided to use only part of the powder in each shell so that the number of boxes remained the same. JD uncrimped the ends and dumped contents of each one till he had emptied them all. Mikie and I, meanwhile, separated the gun powder and shot into two piles, and then separated out the powder that we needed for our project. The shot and remaining powder was divided up into equal piles and we carefully started replacing them into each empty shell.
I had been visiting my cousin, JD, when he developed a sudden interest in chemistry after our firecracker supply from the Fourth was exhausted . I think this was the same year that we bought the hydrochloric acid for our experiments in generating hydrogen for “lighter than air” craft. Most of these “experiments” were trial balloons, so to speak, for other experiments preformed as young adults and generally yielded the same results — blowing up in our faces. Children back then were praised for having an inquisitive mind and most everything that we did as children in the late 50’s, early 60’s was regarded as a learning experience, although we kids regarded it as merely surviving another day. And a lot of my learning experiences did involve trips to the emergency room..They were builders of character or at least a tough hide… if you survived. Now these same “experiments” would get me incarcerated.
Our experiments in basic chemistry consisted of mainly trial and error–mainly error, but we were soon happily laying blackpowder trails across any fire ant hill that hadn’t already been vacated due to our continuous harassment with a variety of household weapons of mass destruction. It didn’t take long before boredom and “what if’s” turned our interest from homemade fireworks to projectile geometry.
I came across this post in a old hard drive
Catapults; Weapons of mass distraction
Summerville Elementary, with its vaguely green faux stucco cement exterior and pea graveled asphalt playground/ball field, would have been considered quite inadequate, if not downright dangerous even by Phenix City’s standards of the day. If we had had any standards to apply.
Six classrooms, six grades, with the Principal doubling as the sixth grade teacher.
Worn wooden board floors were gray from years of industrial cleaners and buffed to a dull sheen by countless pairs of Ked’s forming lines down the three sided hallways leading to the assembly/rainy day gym/ lunchroom. The smell of soured milk, rutabagas and greens emanating from within competed with chalk, crayons and the sweaty little bodies lined up outside for preeminence in the heavy southern air .
Middle Boy had been wanting a sxs .410 to rabbit hunt with. I kept trying to tell him that with his advancing age which will bring on deterioating eyesight that he would be better off with a 20 ga or even a 12. But, alas, he listens to me now no better than he did at 12. Beside, he told me he plans to have my 20 ga Yildiz in fifteen years. I suppose he thinks I will have passed by my 78 birthday. I plan to stay around just to spite him. An now might even give it to Baby Boy. Anyway, Middle Boy has a acquired a Yildiz .410 sxs from Academy. Pretty much the same as my 20ga. These are light and affordable guns imported from Turkey.
Since it was just Middle Boy and myself, I provided most of the entertainment
The first rabbit I missed was just one of my usual misses. He hopped out on the road, saw me when I saw him. His reflexes were just better. Before I had time to do more than widen my eyes at the unexpected bunny, he spun into some thick bushes. A desperation shot tore the bush apart, but he had never slowed down
The next miss was worse or as Middle Boy said, the funniest thing he had saw in a long time. Let me set the stage for you
We jumped one rabbit in a long relatively narrow briar patch that was bordered on one side by a pasture and the other was a hardwood bottom that was completely bare of vegetation.
I standing on the far side of the bottom looking at Middle Boy standing in the briar patch waiting for the rabbit to cross. I had my gun under my arm as I focused the zoom and watched intently, not hardly breathing. And I waited.
Finally, Middle Boy noticed me and asked what I was doing. As I told him, he said “What moved next to you? I looked down to see the rabbit sitting next to my left foot. There I was camera in both hands, gun in the crook of shoulder as the rabbit sprinted into the bushes behind me. Trying to one hand the camera and attached tether into the vest and raise and aim the shotgun with the other hand
proved to be a impossible task
We closed out what was supposed to have been a couple of hour hunt about two in the afternoon . And “We” got two rabbits
Thank goodness for the “We” system. Charles Pearson and I got three rabbits today on a light hunt at Mr. Daves house. It’s always good to hear somebody else praise your pack of dogs. And when it’s a fellow dogman, it’s all the sweeter.
Charles had me put one of his tracking collars in my vest. Whether this was because of the fact that I got a little turned around the other day on the skunk hunt or because it gave Charles an edge on rabbit killing is open for debate. Some of you know I used to carry a compass. A compass is a great tool for keeping lost in only one direction.
We jumped the first rabbit at the edge of Mr. Dave’s driveway and he led The Rabbit Journal Pack on a long race in the woods between his house and the huge field below. To make it even better, most of the race was in areas that had sheets and pools of water. Mr. Dave took the first two shots, missing both after having to jerk his foot out of the way of the charging rabbit. Then Charles killed it.
The second rabbit came when Charles jumpshot a rabbit after a long fruitless circle that ended back at Dave’s house. That means the first two rabbits were Dave’s yard rabbits.
The third came when the dogs crossed the road onto someone else’s property. Charles killed this one. According to him the rabbit was a streaking blur through thick brush that was juking left and right, even while in the air. Rabbit hunters are worse than fishermen.
I remember when we took djmed’s boss on his first rabbit hunt. We took him to Mr. Murphy’s near the old Salem Shotwell Bridge. We broke him.
In hindsight, We should have taken him to a place that was more ameniable to the first time rabbit hunter. Mr. Murphy had someof the toughest cane briars I’ve ever seen. The only way to move around in some sections was to pick up a length of wood, throw it on the briars to bend them over. Raise your foot up high and walk to the piece of wood. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It probably didn’t help that I told him to wlak up about twenty yards. Reflecting on the hunt, I suppose that djmed was lucky he wasn’t fired.
On last Saturday’s hunt we had two newbies, a grown man and a thirteen year old, Gregory.
We had a long race, one where the rabbit circled us twice, once passing immediately behind us undetected. I was to busy watching Gregory fidget and the rabbit was a long way ahead of the dogs.
Famous Last Words
Our statements often come back to haunt us
Hey Ya’ll! Watch this
Relax, you can’t get pregnant your first time
This will sting just a little bit
I am never getting drunk again
Just grab him by the tail. They never bite
I’m really quitting smoking this time
We will get 12 to 16 rabbits today
the other day.
He was supposed to be on his way to Las Vegas with his lovely bride. But I hear tell that she fell sick and they had to put off the trip to March, after rabbit season. I’m still wondering what he put in her food.
was a piece of advice that GF’s cousin gave GF before we married. Why did that pop into my head? Well, Valentines day is Sunday and it’s also my wedding anniversary. There is a slight age gap, some would call it generational. If you’d like to know more about my valentine/anniversary hunts, this post is best