Squirrels...

I grew up hunting rabbits and squirrels...small game mostly, like most kids in the rural South....and right now, there are 8 squirrels in my back yard.....8 of them....I was just pouring some coffee, and looked out the kitchen window....and the ground was CRAWLING with them....I must be getting old or something...why are they not frying in a pan with some salt and pepper right now?..why is the Wife not making biscuits and gravy to go with them?...good question.....the first thing that comes to mind, in my defense, is that squirrels are too damn hard to skin...thus, they survive in relative peace here at Straight White House...still....they got me to thinking....

I can remember my Father taking me hunting a few times...well...let me rephrase that....they weren't so much hunts as endurance tests...heh.....one Saturday we'd wake up to the first snowfall of the year, and Dad would say, "RIGHT! Perfect weather for going Rabbit hunting!"...so, we'd bundle up, grab our shotguns, and spend the next 5 hours walking around in the snow looking for "tracks"....yeah...picturing Elmer Fudd yet?....well, I just re-read this, and I'm doing it too...so, it's ok....

We'd end up walking for hours in the snow....I'd end up with frozen feet...and Dad would pick a nice spot under a tree....rake back the snow to uncover the leaves, and build a fire....I'd take off my shoes, and Dad would hang my damp socks over the fire to dry them out....and, we'd sit there in the snow by the fire...and he'd tell me stories about when he was little...and how he and his brother would make rabbit boxes to catch rabbits...which they sold to the traveling peddler for 25 cents each....and then, the inevitable "karate chop" story would be told...you know the one....the two brothers had seen a kung fu fight on some 50's television show...and, the next time they caught a rabbit, they decided to dismiss the poor fellow with a well aimed karate chop to the back of the head...so...one brother holds the hapless rabbit by the back legs....and the other brother swings his knifelike karate hand, and whacks the varmint....then, says with the utmost satisfaction, "heh...THAT oughtta do it..."....to which, the other brother tosses the now-dead-by-kung-fu-action rabbit to the ground....and both brothers watch as the dead rabbit high-tails it away at warp speed....

After the stories were told...and the socks were dry....we would march back home...of course, my Mother would open the door....and laugh at us as we stomped our feet and shook the snow off of our clothes in the driveway..."What? No Rabbit?" she'd say....and Dad would just grin....We never DID get a rabbit....EVER.....but, we both sure enjoyed "hunting" rabbits every time it snowed....

by Eric on December 21, 2003 | Comments(5) | SWG Stories

Comments so far:

My papaw used to hunt squirrels, and I had a huge collection of squirrel tails by the time I was 6. Rabbits feet too. I used to take them to school for show and tell.
Cracks me up thinking of the brain hemorrhage PETA would have if a kid did that these days.

posted by: LeeAnn on December 21, 2003 11:09 AM

Poo on PETA. Those guys are pressing their luck, IMO.

posted by: Indigo on December 21, 2003 09:34 PM

One of the reasons that I've got all those damn squirrels in the back yard is that I'm lazy...Dad taught me not to kill an animal unless I was going to eat it...so....since the fridge is full of steaks...the squirrels survive...

posted by: Eric on December 22, 2003 12:22 PM

Squirrel is terrible anyways. You are looking back through those nostalgia glasses. The damned things are like eating rats. Pile up the venison and rabbit, but leave the squirrels alone. They aren't worth eating unless you've got nothing else.

posted by: Phelps on December 22, 2003 06:21 PM

Phelps: I know...they never were my favorite...but, what sticks in my mind has ALWAYS been how hard they were to skin....I've never skinned a rat...but, it has GOTTA be a lot like cleaning a squirrel...I've eaten lots of animals...and meat is meat at the end of the day...

posted by: Eric on December 22, 2003 06:33 PM