Saturday, June 11, 2011

Grady, Goober and the Hunting Trip

Grady and Goober took Uncle Vernon deer hunting. You’d think that a man who lived his whole life on the outskirts of town would be an avid deer hunter, but Uncle Vernon had other interests, not the least of which was an apparatus of questionable character hidden out in the woods. Because of his commitment to operate this apparatus, he only had time to take out the few squirrels and raccoons that came within range. So deer hunting was a new experience.

Leaving at five o’clock in the morning was also a new experience for Uncle Vernon. He never used an alarm clock so waking up earlier than normal was asking a bit much.

“Uncle Vernon,” yelled Goober as Grady knocked on the front door, “Uncle Vernon, you up?” After several attempts, their old uncle appeared at the door.

“What in tarnation is goin’ on?” he asked.

“Deer hunting, remember?” Grady said.

“Ohhhh,” Vernon moaned. “Ain’t no respectable deer gonna get up this early, don’t know why we have to, blasted nephews think I need to get up before the chickens to go out and kill me a deer,” He grumbled walking away from the door back to the bedroom. Grady and Goober followed him inside.

“You need any help?” Goober asked.

“Think I can dress myself,” he yelled back, disappearing into the bedroom. “Been doing it everyday for seventy-three years. Why on earth would you think I couldn’t get dressed today?”

“Tell me again why we invited Uncle Vernon to go with us?” Goober asked.

“Cause he needs to make a memory before he dies,” Grady answered.

“He’s gonna die?”

“Yeah, someday. He’s already got one foot in the grave. That’s why we need to hurry and let him enjoy what little time he has left.”

“I didn’t even know he was sick.”

“He ain’t. He’s just old.”

Uncle Vernon appeared in his customary plaid long-sleeve shirt and Big Smith overalls. In his hand was a vintage, single-shot, 12-guage shotgun.

“Uncle Vernon, you can’t hunt deer with a shotgun,” Goober said.

“That’ll work just fine,” Grady said. “Let’s get loaded up.

“He can’t hunt deer with a shotgun,” Goober whispered to Grady.

“That don’t matter. Old people can’t see, so he couldn’t hit anything anyhow.”

“What you gonna do?”

“After I put him in the deer stand, I’m gonna hide in some bushes. When a deer comes along I’m gonna wait until he’s about to shoot then I’m gonna shoot at the same time and I’ll get him his deer,” Grady said.

“Won’t he hear the two shots?”

“Naw, old people can’t hear nothing. He’ll just think it’s an echo or something.”

With Uncle Vernon up the stand, Grady told him where the deer would likely come from and told him to watch the trail that was beside the bush he was going to hide in.

About daybreak, Grady was getting restless and moved to get more comfortable in the bushes. Uncle Vernon noticed the movement and let loose with a load of single aught buckshot right into the bush. Grady caught several pellets in the rear and jumped up howling. Uncle Vernon came out of the stand and approached the bushes with another shell in the chamber, gun cocked and ready.

“Uncle Vernon, wait,” Goober yelled. He had heard the shot and came running to help celebrate the scheme.

When they got to the bush, Grady came out dancing around, holding his rear. Uncle Vernon raised up his 12-guage and aimed it at Grady. “Uncle Vernon, no!” shouted Goober. “It’s Grady!” Uncle Vernon lowered his weapon and took out his knife.

“What are you gonna do with that?” Goober said.

“Gut him so the meat won’t spoil,” Uncle Vernon answered.

“What!” both Grady and Goober said in unison.

Uncle Vernon began to laugh. “I may be old but I ain’t dead, blind, or deaf.”

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