One summer, I had a friend next door named Billy. I quickly discovered he didn’t have all his wires connected. Neither did I for that matter. Grandmother had a huge Pecan Tree. The squirrels were eating them faster than they could fall. My grandmother, bless her heart, bought me a bow and arrow and about 20 target arrows in the quill. She told me she would give me a quarter for every squirrel I killed.
First of all, a target arrow wouldn’t kill a fly, but who knew? So Billy wanted in on the action. Well, he sure wasn’t going to get to use my bow and arrows. So, we looked around and he came up with a splendid idea. About 50 yards beyond that Pecan Tree was an open field. Billy said, “Why don’t I stand in the field and gather the arrows as you shoot them and then I’ll bring them back?”
Looking back on this picture, I wonder how on earth he lived through this event. But, being of like mind, I thought he had a great idea. So Billy raced off to the field. I took a sho and hit the tree. I think that arrow is still there. 2nd shot missed the tree, missed the squirrels, and went zinging off into space and landed about 20 feet’ from Billy’s flip-flop foot. We didn’t think a thing about the danger. 3rd shot, same as #2, except this time, it went between Billy’s big toe and first toe. Didn’t hit him but could not have come closer to impaling him!
Lightbulbs went off in his head and mine at the same time. I told him to “GET OUT OF THAT FIELD RIGHT NOW!” He did, and the rest of the afternoon we gathered the arrows. All together, we lost a few. How many squirrels did I hit in 4 days? Glad you asked. ZERO! So we didn’t get rich that week. But we did try.
The following week, I was shooting my bow and arrow alone. I happened to luck out and hit a Mockingbird! Well, let me tell you this. There was a ranking member of the Audubon Society renting one of my grandmother’s apartments. She had about 8 that she rented out. Grandmother came flying out the back door, grabbed that Mockingbird by the neck, gave it a few swings, and magically, she stopped and the bird looked dead.
She quickly dug a hole and buried him on the spot. I looked at her wide-eyed like, “Grandma, what the heck just happened?” It was then that she told me that the Mockingbird was the Florida State Bird and it was an $200 fine for killing them. I was going to remind her that she had killed the bird-not me.
Suddenly, without warning, that Mockingbird jumped out of his grave and flew away, shaking his head. Lol. As it turned out, the Bird Watcher wasn’t home at the time. Ha! But I know I cut off a few years of grandmother’s sweet life that day. Sorry, grandmother.
Looking back through the decades, mum and dad had a pretty good deal going on. They would drop my sister and I off at grandmother’s house and disappear for a month. It’s a wonder we don’t have 10 other siblings Manila, do you realize that?!
Author Notes: It's a good idea to remember these stories so you don't do what I have done!