19 September 2008

Dogs That Point

When my family and I lived in Opp , Alabama, I would go to Zeb’s Cake House to have donuts and coffee with the fellows in the mornings after I had delivered children to their various schools. Usually there were about 10 or 12 men who would enjoy engaging in stories relating to hunting and fishing. While some of the details might be true, you know it is the tendency for hunters and fishermen to embellish the truth and color the stories with exaggerations of the events.
One fellow was bragging on his bird dog. He said that the other day he was driving through downtown Opp in his pickup truck and had his dog in the cab with him. He declared that, all of a sudden, his dog began to point. He said that he looked everywhere but he could not see a quail. Then he noticed that his dog had pointed a fly on the windshield of his truck. Well, for sure, that brought a hearty laugh from the crowd. I then related that when I was a boy we had a good dog that knew his business. I told them that one day while sitting on our porch~which went from the front of the house all the way back to our cistern on the back porch~our dog ran around to the side porch and began to point. I looked everywhere and could not see one quail in the yard and then I saw my good friend walking by on the road to his home up the ridge. His name was Bob White.

Having lived in Opp , Alabama for many years, I knew all the doctors in town. Many of them were friends of mine. A local druggist informed me that he gave a wild turkey that he had killed to Dr. Grinnell. I was visiting a patient in the local hospital one day and I saw the doctor and our family physician, Dr. Dunn, at the nurses’ station filling out papers. I said to Dr. Grinnell, “I heard that someone gave you a wild turkey. They are really hard to clean, aren’t they?” He replied, “Yes, they are. However I have found a way to singe them but it turns the breast a little dark.” I asked, “How do you do it?” He answered, “I use a blow torch.” I laughed and then he asked if I had killed a turkey. I answered “yes" and that it was the biggest Tom I had ever killed. I then said the sad thing about it was I had to kill two hens along with the Tom. The doctors looked puzzled and asked why I had to do that. I replied, “They were carrying his beard so he would not trip over it.” With that I turned and began walking down the hall to the room where I would be visiting a patient. When I got about half way down the hall I heard one of them say, “And he is a preacher too?”

My sweet wife of fifty-two years, come August, has never been hunting with me. One of the reasons, well two reasons, being she could not sit still for three hours in a tree stand and bless her heart she would have to talk to me about where she would like to go shopping the next day. Well, one day while looking at a picture of a beautiful bird dog in its pointing position she asked with all sincerity, “Does he point with his tail?” Well, come to think about it, that is a profound question.

Our youngest son Matt was invited to a ‘spend the night' birthday party at a friend’s house on the Andalusia highway leading out of Opp. I carried him over to the home of his playmate that afternoon and met the mother of the child having the birthday. She invited me in and immediately I observed that her husband was a deer hunter, by seeing antlers and guns on the wall. I said something to the effect that I knew her husband hunted deer, and then I asked a simple question, “Does he hunt with a club?” She hesitated for a few moments with a puzzled look on her face and then she said, “Oh no, he hunts with a gun.” Now you talk about having a time with your emotions and not laughing aloud and at the same time wondering how stupid this kind lady thought I was. I was in a dither. Finally she got us both out of this dilemma by saying, after she looked dumbfounded for awhile, “Oh, yes! He hunts with a group of men.” Come to think about it, this incident might have been prophetic in nature. Spears are now legal in Alabama and maybe clubs will be next, that is, for the swiftest runners.

My good Cajun friend Chris tried bow hunting for deer with his powerful compound bow. One morning while hunting near Bear Creek Swamp and the Alabama River he was highly disappointed that he did not get to shoot his bow at a buck. So when he got back to his truck he decided that he would indeed get a shot off anyway. He pointed his arrow toward the sky and pulled the string of that compound bow back and let it go. Up, up, the arrow went at break neck speed. It was then that my good friend from Lafayette, Louisiana began to contemplate the law of gravity. All the brains from thousands of crayfish he had eaten over the years began to work in high gear. It was at that time Chris made an important and fast decision to run like blazes and hightailed it to his truck where he crawled underneath it for cover. You know, wisdom demands that you do not stand still in the same place where you shot an arrow into the air because where it lands you may not know where.

Remember that wherever you go, there you are.
"I'll be right back ~ after I drag a 10 point buck out of the woods on opening day."

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