Posted 02-07-2003 at 13:13:54
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You may have heard this before but I can't remember so.....Some of you seem to remember my son Jake killing and eating the rabbit for breakfast. Well I guess my pride in him showed as he pestered me relentlessly one afternoon about going rabbit huntin' WITH him. Ordinarily I say 'hunting' but I have been corrected by him so many times that I now pronounce it properly. It is a very involved procedure the way he does it, and requires a driver, a spotlight aimer and of course him and his gun. Three people, a vehicle, and a gun, to take out a three pound rabbit. Hmmm.
The object is to drive around the grove shining the spotlight and when he sees a rabbit maybe, he shoots it, maybe. There is an intricate series of thumps performed on the roof of the truck to instruct the driver to 'turn left, turn right, stop, go' etc. Details that he grilled me on all afternoon. I know that this is illegal to do with deer, but I wasn't so so sure about rabbits.
Finally about eight thirty that evening he came in and informed me that it was time to go. I sighed, got up, and searched for boots and jacket. On my way out I summoned Elvis, our mutt, who has taken to sleeping just inside the front door on a blanket as he is old and skinny and doesn't retain heat like he used to.
"C'mon Elvis. Wanna go get some rabbits?"
"Uh uh, no, I don't think so, but thank you for asking." Tail thumping the floor, all innocent like.
"Look" I say under my breath, "if I gotta go, you're goin' and that's that, so get your behind in that truck."
He sighed, much as I had, and dragged butt out and jumped in the cab. I grabbed his blanket as a peace offering and stepped out into the cold night. Off we go, My oldest daughter in the back with spotlight, my son in the back with his .22, all frosty breath and excitement. Around and around we go, didn't see the first rabbit. Saw a raccoon.
“I'm gonna shoot it.” Jake says.
“Fine,” I say, “but you're eating it by yourself.”
“Well, maybe not then.”
We’re making our second tour through the grove and Elvis gives me this 'is this what you dragged me out for? I don't know if I can stand all this excitement' look. I just glared back at him and he sighed and lay down on the seat grumbling to himself. I got three thumps which meant turn right and I hollered out the window,
"Say son, are there gonna be rabbits on this here rabbit huntin' trip?"
No answer just two thumps to turn left. I felt like an idiot, but I made the turn. Then it dawned on me. Sure I'd rather be sitting in the house watching television, but I had been invited to be a part of my son's life. To learn something about him, what makes him tick, get a glimpse into his world. It won't be that many years from now that I won't be getting those invites any more.
I got another three thumps so I turned right again and smiled. What the heck, even if we didn't get any rabbits, I could say I'd been 'rabbit huntin'. BTW I did find out that this is illegal so we don't do it anymore.