Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 3rd installment

always does, but firing as if this lethal rifle has a mind of its own. The antelope went down like it was going under the fence but didn’t get up, left behind by the herd. The antelope was mine, I thought. I was so pumped and proud I caught myself preparing my feat of accuracy into a story I would tell. I felt first–rate but the ringing in my ears masked some of my best daydream.
       “You blasted him – he never knew what hit him – best running shot I’ve ever seen – way to go – he’s struggling to get up – he’s moving – he’s through the fence – what a lousy shot – you only wounded him – the Old Man is going to kill us,” Russell's narrative babbled on and on. “Let’s get after him.” My ears were ringing, my shoulder felt like I just got kicked by one of our milk cows, and my gut churned as I realized what had just happened.
        “No!” I said, my thoughts returning to the present. “If we track the wounded animal now, we’ll have to track him all day. The smart thing to do is sit here for a while; the antelope will lie down, stiffen up and won't get up and run. We can track the blood, find out where he’s lying and then put him out of his misery.”
        “But then, after we find your wounded animal, we’ll have to walk the three miles back to the house for another bullet!” Russ reminded me.
        “I know, I know,” I uttered. It’s funny how the emotional rollercoaster can take the soaring high to a sudden dive. When the Old Man sent us to clear the field of grazing animals and bring back some meat for the family, he’d given us one bullet each which we stuffed in our pockets. He had said, “If you’re going to shoot an antelope you only need one bullet!” He truly meant it. His hunting philosophy was always you either hit what you shoot or you don't shoot at all!
        As we waited my mind wandered back to when Vern, the Old Man, our father Vernon had taught us how to shoot and how to shoot very well with just words. We had never been allowed to target practice, to plink cans and bottles off the board fence. Target practice only teaches bad habits, and when shooting the higher caliber rifles, you waste bullets that cost real money. But a worse state of affairs is when the rifle’s recoil kicks you enough that it hurts – then all accuracy is lost for the rest of your life because you’re afraid of your gun. You’re thinking is this going to hurt, and you frightfully pull off a shot with your eyes shut!
        “I can teach you how to shoot with only words,” the Old Man told us. “When you’re shooting for real, at real game, you don’t feel the recoil; your adrenalin is pumping up the excitement and you feel little

500 more words tomorrow

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