Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bits & Pieces

In honor of Mrs. S., I've just switched on my coffeemaker.

Our weatherjerk has forecast rain and I'm prepared. I've a good book (One Second After, my third or forth reading) and it seems a quiet day to relax. I'm at work, but after a day like yesterday where the action was none stop and a few days after payday, I think it'll be slow around here today.

I do have a couple of long pieces to write. These memories have haunted me for weeks and I need to get them recorded while they're still fresh in my mind. Trouble is, I like to write when I'm certain I'll not be disturbed, which isn't possible here at the shop.
Someone will always walk in and flop down and want to talk. I'm not good at idle chit-chat. Some even call me reserved, too quiet. So be it. Anyhow, maybe I'll write a longer piece today. I always hammer my pieces out. Never a draft, just write as the words pour from my mind. Not an easy process. I seldom if ever edit, and that tells on me. So, we'll see how it goes today.

I have a working title for one of the pieces. South Moon Under. Don't steal it or I will track you down. I'll find 'ya and smack 'ya one. One or two of you might have read Majorie Kinnan Rawling's novel of the same title. It was one of my favorite books as a young man. Its setting was but a few miles from my current home. If you haven't as yet read the book, you're missing something wonderful. It is available in Kindle edition.

The piece I hope to write, of course, will be very different and from memory, if my muse allows. It isn't pretty. As I've written in the past, memories are killing.

Little Bit was very chipper this morning. She will attend the zoo today (they should be there now) with her class and her step-mother as one of their chaperons. She bounced in her seat and had the biggest smile planted on her face...."Papa, we get to eat a sack lunch. It's wonderful, Papa. A real sack lunch."

Hey, it's the little things.

"Papa, do you like the zoo?"

Game time.

"No, Honey, Papa doesn't like the zoo."

"Why not?" She turns to me and puts on one of her pouts. "You and Nana take me all the time."

I waited for an adjustment to my driving and glanced over and smiled and said, "Cause, it stinks, and its always hot and its expensive and the snacks cost far too much and the zoo doesn't allow Papa to shoot the critters for practice. That's why."

Big brown eyes stare back at me. She crinkles up her face and her mouth falls open. I've moved to the left lane and watch a truck cut me off. I'm smiling, inside. I chance a quick look her way. It's working.


"What, Honey."

"You're mean."

"Ah, Little Bit, Papa isn't mean. Seriously, wouldn't it be fun to ride the zoo train with our rifles and as we come upon the cages of animals select a target and bag some fresh meat."

Sometimes, mind you, I go a wee bit far with my jokes.

"Oh, Papa." She began to cry. Oops.


She's turned face towards her window and ignores me. I reach and gently rub her little shoulders and say, "Sweetheart, Papa was just joking."

Cheerful and chipper mood dispelled.

After we've reached our destination I parked and reach and pulled her into my arms. I felt awful. I explained I was just making fun, joking. She finally understood and forgave me. I helped her apply her 'lipstick.' Fake stuff her Nana gave her for Christmas. Then, "Papa."

"Yes, Honey."

"You'd never really hurt the Zoo animals would you. You really mean it when you said it was a joke, didn't you, Papa."

"Of course, my sweet little girl, of course."

She went to school with a smile.

I'm a good Papa....



  1. Women doesn't matter what age, they know how to wrap you around their little fingers...;)

    1. Very true, Rob. She indeed has me wrapped around her finger. Then again, why not, I love her more than life.

  2. I thinkj when I have children it's a typical conversation I might have with them !

    I didn't read one second after but I know the author because of "the lost regiment" serie, I love his way of writing it's smart and clear.

    Do you know these books ?

    1. Manfred, no I haven't heard of 'The Lost Regiment.' Need to check it out. Thank you for the kind comment, my friend.

  3. My daughter asked me what my favorite animal is and I said a deer and she asked why and I said because I am really hoping someone will take me hunting soon and I can shoot 13 who was listening did not appreciate my answer.

    I love reading your stories.

    1. Isn't it strange how we can love wildlife and shoot them at the same time...thank you for the nice comment, Dear Lady.

  4. Replies
    1. Shameful, isn't it. Thanks, Flier.

  5. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)April 18, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    Kids really are funny - anything wild is OK to shoot and eat, but a zoo animal is like a pet to them! There is a wild animal farm and zoo about a mile from us. At night you can hear the lions, tigers and buffalo roar. (The best sounds though are the howls of the wolves). My grandson does not consider them wild animals but is worried if they escape, they will be killed. I told him they will only shoot them with a 'sleeping dart' if they ever did escape. He was very happy with that answer. Then we set up some paper animal targets and he practiced 'darting' them with his Red Ryder BB gun!! Too funny!

    1. He reminds me of me when I was his age. I wore out two good Diasy BB guns before I was nine. Thank you, Dear Phyllis.

  6. Enjoy your coffee. I had a couple cups today too; it helps keep the allergies at bay a little and counteract the snoozies caused by the allergy meds.

    There is something that seems rather unsportsmanlike about shooting a caged wild animal. Maybe that's why the joke didn't go over very well with Lil' Bit.

    Even though it seemed a little unfair, I had limited sympathy for all the rabbits caught in the live trap last summer. All of them flunked their swimming test. I would have preferred to shoot them, but the city does not permit the use of projectile weapons of any kind within its limits.

    Of course if an elephant escaped from the zoo and started tearing up my yard and eating my garden, hubby would be sorely tempted to get out the CZ 375 H&H. I think that was the rationalization for buying it anyway.

    1. Little Bit is sensitive, sometimes overly. Bad joke on my part.
      BTW, there are ways around using a rifle slug on rabbits. The meat is too good to waste. Take a strong stick or other rigid object and give them a quick hard rap on the back of the neck. Then dress and soak the meat in salty water overnight.
      No doubt, the 375 will take the elephant down...never know when those suckers might charge. Thanks, Mrs. S., and btw, my coffee cup is empty, time for another.

  7. Just went to the zoo here while on vacation. It was all of the things you described, but we still took the wee ones.

    1. Yeah, we take her all the time too...I hate summer trips to the zoo though. HOT. The sacrifices we make for those we love...thanks, my good friend.

  8. Sounds like a conversation my daughter and I would have, except she was the one talking about shooting. I told her to keep quiet around her mother.

    1. Good for her. I've purchased Little Bit a little pink .22, but she's still afraid of it and I don't push the subject. In time I'll have her field stripping an AR. Thanks for the nice comment.

  9. Every Time we go to the zoo, Calmer Half looks at the Red River Hogs and wishes hard that they could be on his barbeque. Every. Time.

    "They're so fat and tender! Those ones haven't had to run from predators in years! They'd be so delicious!"

    Every. Time.

  10. Then Calmer Half and myself are much alike. He's correct too, all that juicy fat just waiting to be rendered into dinner. Thanks, my friend.