Once upon a time there was a woman who was a real mountain-woman. She took her six children camping every summer, thinkin’ the fresh air would do their over-taxed craniums some good. Wellll, these weren’t quite normal children. A few too many brain cells and shotguns amongst them to mean any good for anyone. Now, this woman had a whole swathe of boys out campin’ with her the summer long, and ONE lil’ girl.
If you’ve ever known a girl who grew up with a lot of boys, you might know that she often ends up a little more heartless and tough than the boys (a mix of necessity and overcompensation). This particular girl was of such a stripe.
The tent was pitched, and mom was a’cookin’ that day when the little girl wandered off with a gun tucked comfortably in her armpit (you know, that way you always see in the old westerns when the bad guy struts with gun crooked through his arm in that particular way).
Now, I’m absolutely sure this lil’ girl had nuthin’ in her head but good intentions. It was that damned squirrel that had the nerve to look so perrty and tasty, jumpin’ from branch to branch like IT owned the forest (which was certainly NOT true, cause these woods was that little girl’s). Driven by a twinge of tree-jumpin’-envy, she took that gun and butted it, aimed, and fired. VICTORY!!! Such a gleam ran through those eyes, a smile on those lips……
But in the cloud of smoke and flame of conquest, a placid mother’s face appeared right ’bout where that squirrel had dropped to the ground. If only it’d been a ghost, or a vision, or somesuch – but no. That was the real mother alright. She looked down, then up without a single hint of what was goin’ through her mind. Was she mad? Was she glad? Was she proud of her lil’ half pint’s shot?
Two words and a pointed finger at the carcass of that poor animal was all it took. “Yo’ supper”, she said, turned, and walked away.
That little girl had to defur, skin, slice, and fry that squirrel (can’t e’en mention what she was saying while doin’ that!!). She ate every bit, pretendin’ it was as lovely as mama’s steak pie. The boys laughed, but she never cried. She also never shot another squirrel…….well, that might be a fib, she just made sure here mama wasn’t nowhere near.
[Stories from my childhood…]