The Dove and Rabbit Stories


A bit of a departure. Just more of an idea of how in many ways I am so poorly equipped for this mess I am in (or maybe it’s the opposite).

In high school I think I went dove hunting three seasons, maybe four. I had a sort of short-barreled shotgun, a 12-gauge. It was also a single shot.

I never hit a damn thing. Except one time, the last time I went out. And even that was a poor shot. (I of course blame the equipment… Those birds learned to veer away from the shot, I saw that with many other hunters, so a gun that spreads its shot early due to being short-barreled means you gotta be close and lead them just the right way. Some hunters fire twice, once to make them veer and once to hit where they veer to. Don’t have that option with a single shot).

The bird was wounded, but not dead. So I wound up putting it out of its misery with the butt of the gun. I still remember vividly its eyes. Wasn’t easy for me and I lost interest in hunting after that.

To show that I may have come by that genetically, another brief anecdote. There was a young single mother who lived not far away. My sister and I worked with her at the Old Oak Tree Restaurant (a slave hovel where, due to being seasonal they got around minimum wage laws. Think I got $1 an hour as a busboy and no share in the tips. This was my mother attempting to teach me to be a good Republican. Methinks it backfired 😉 ).

The young woman’s daughter had a pet rabbit. The rabbit had a habit (heh) of climbing up to look out the window to watch for them coming home. One day, the rabbit tried this in the restroom and fell off of the back of the toilet and broke its leg.

Not knowing where else to go, the mother approached my sister and asked if my dad would put the rabbit out of its misery. I guess they viewed it like a broke-legged horse, I don’t know what normally is done in these cases. The mother probably made $2 plus tips, if this was when she worked at the restaurant and that was seasonal and part-time.

So, dad agreed. I watched out the window as he brought the little furry creature out to the table reserved for cleaning fish (that, we had no issues with, darn classists that we are). He had a hatchet in the other hand. I watched him try three or four times but hesitate.

There was, apart from the table and general fishing supplies a turtle trap, I think it was (it was either that or a place to keep caught fish submerged until it was time to pack them up and clean them). It rather closely resembled a rabbit hutch. Just a few adjustments and it could be used for that, I even pictured a spot to put it up away from predators (including the family dog, a German shepherd named Bullet).

I intervened rather than continue to watch the phony hatchet swings. He seemed relieved to have an alternate option. The rabbit’s leg healed in a week or two and it went back to a happy little girl.

(The Old Man may sound sometimes like a Rip Torn character, but somehow underneath he’s a lot more Rip Taylor or something. At least that’s the man I used to know.)

This is what I mean, though. It’s not easy to overcome that. Empathy. Whatever you want to call it. Especially when you know that the nastiness you are experiencing is largely phony, someone else’s fake picture being painted, and that driving you to violence is the goal.

You are iceskating uphill. How many times do I have to tell you that? Give up. You lost a long time ago.


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