Sunday, August 21, 2016


Our greatest tribulation with crows came the time Brother and I took Bob VK out hunting with us.  Bob's mother didn't approve at all.  She didn't like guns, didn't want to see animals hurt, didn't eat game, was suspicious of farmers, and had other little quirks--like she hated our guts.

Dad used to say that she was so much trouble because she never got any.  We figured "any" meant some nice pheasants and rabbits, but that didn't help either.

On the particular Saturday under study, we didn't get a single crow.  No matter how we tried, or where we looked, there weren't any crows around to cause trouble.  On our way back to town, we finally found where they all were.  Sitting in an oak tree watching a tomcat not one hundred feet from the Glen Oaks Road.

Now for those of you who don't know, Glen Oaks Road is a very exclusive section of the county.  Nothing less than a quarter of a million on ten acres is ever permitted.

"Why," said bloodthirsty Bob, "can't we shoot some of these crows?"

"Because," said my always practical brother, "these people out here have big, ass-grabbing Dobermans, and they will sic them on us if we go on their property to shoot crows, that's why."

"Well," continued our friend Bob, "I could ride on the tailgate of the station wagon and blast the black bastards as we go by.  You could give it the gas, and we would be gone before anyone knew what happened."

"Keep down," I hollered, as Bob and Brother opened the rear window and put down the tailgate.  "Keep that gun out of sight."

Gracefully we glided up to the crow-covered oak.

In an instant, just as though he had trained all his life for this one moment, Bob sat up on he tailgate, poked the gun out, and shot.  I canned the throttle and burned rubber one hundred yards down the road, making our getaway.

By the time we were doing seventy, I could tell something was wrong.  Brother was screaming his head off and looking generally more distraught than usual.  A glance in the rear view mirror confirmed my worst suspicion.  There, honest-to-God, was Bob still rolling end over end of the middle of the highway.  Jackets, stuffed owls, shells, sweaters, gun cases, and other miscellaneous gear lay strewn down the road.  It looked like the garbage man was exercising some sort of retribution on the residents of Glen Oaks Road.

I slammed on the brakes.  Every piece of gear that hadn't slid out the rear of the open staiton wagon careened to the front of the vehicle, engulfing us in a wave of hunting junk.

Bob came limping up, bloody and beaten.  His clothes were tattered.  "Look," he said.  "I kept the gun down."

At that point it didn't matter anymore.  Traffic stopped while we collected our stuff.  Bob lay in the back of the car trying to be inconspicuous.

I don't know what Bob told his mother, but it apparently wasn't imaginative enough.  She never did sanction his hunting with us again.

Ragnar Benson, Ragnar's Tall Tales (Boulder: Paladin Press 1983), 21-23.

1 comment:

Ryu said...

Breaking the law and having fun. These used to be common rituals in Murka, long ago.