Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Young hunter – part 5

Young hunter - part 1
Young hunter - part 2
Young hunter - part 3
Young hunter - part 4

by Tom Gaylord

The next morning, mother and I worked the screen in my room the way I had the day before. This time, though, the hornets were ready for us. Before I got off a second shot, they were on their way toward the window with murder in their hearts. Mother let them get on the screen, then squirted each one individually with kerosene. They were mad as hell, so they kept coming over until she had squirted several hundred at least. Some fell to the ground under the window, but we couldn't do anything about it as the rest of them were flying all around the yard and the outside of the house.

We spent the rest of that day inside the house, never trusting that it was safe to go out. We kept most of the windows closed, too. At three o'clock, mother phoned my father at his work and told him how it had gone. He decided to stay away until after sundown.

When he came home, he went up to my room to check on the nest and found it abandoned. The next morning before dawn, he and I went outside to see what had happened. The nest was indeed abandoned, but there were hornets walking all over the ground around our back door. They weren't dead, but they weren't flying, either. I was given the job of getting rid of them.

All that day, I sat on the roof of the porch and picked off walking hornets. I went through a lot of shot, and I must have killed several hundred by late afternoon. Then my mother went outside with her boots on and stomped all the rest of them. We picked up as many as we could find and filled a mason jar and part of a second one. Finally we had our back door again and life returned to normal.

That was when my mother took me downtown to have that picture made. She said I was her brave hunter and she wanted to remember that time forever. What neither of us counted on was that one of the dead hornets would end up in the picture, too. It's on the floor, just behind my left shoe, where it must have fallen off when I sat down.

From that day on, my mother never gave me any trouble hunting with my gun. She laid down the rules, and chipmunks were still off limits, but I was free to shoot any and all pests around our house.

About a week after the incident, one of our neighbors, the mother of one of my best friends, called on my mother to tell her they had a hornet's nest outside their house. She wondered whether I could come over and help them get rid of it. My mother told her to just buy her own boy a BB gun and things would take care of themselves. She said that every home needs a hunter, and the other woman should start training hers. I think that was the proudest moment of my young life, because my mother wasn't willing to hire out her young hunter—she needed me too much at home.


At 8:01 AM, Blogger Markus said...

On holiday?

At 8:50 AM, Blogger Tom Gaylord said...


Sort of. I received no comments to 12 serialized stories, so I decided to give it a rest and see what happens.

I only had eight viewers a day, on average. That was a little discouraging after several months. I thought perhaps people don't like reading serialized stories like this, so I was trying to come up with something else to do.

I have more stories, and lots more old photos, but it's been pretty lonely up to now. You are the first comment I've received.


At 11:53 PM, Blogger dm20 said...

i hope you dont writing, i've just discovered your blog and i'm really enjoying all these stories! i always have an ear for childhood adventures, and a few airguns thrown in never hurts. perhaps that is why the older folks like me so much? i think you have alot of talent when it comes to writing and i'd be devastated if you stopped.

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Brianeagle1962 said...

What a great series of stories. I wish there were more stories of old, like these. You have brought back very many memories from my childhood. Thank you

At 6:59 PM, Blogger TSBrat2002 said...

Three people who left a message, plus myself. Hmmm, low numbers, fun readiing.

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Fabian Hernandez said...

In our world today many grow frustrated to read the first part and then having to wait for the next part.
In my case I found this blog after the story was complete, I wouldn't mind having to wait, but probably wouldn't comment until it was complete.

What I can say now is that that is one of the best hunting stories that I have read.

Thank you

At 6:54 AM, Blogger Tom Gaylord said...


Another story is coming soon.

Thanks for your comments.


At 8:09 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

I love this and all your stories-- please don't be discouraged and keep on writing! I've been reading them with my kids-- great stuff!

At 12:45 AM, Blogger DiscoveryTim said...

What kind of bb-gun was that and do you still have it?
Great stories!

At 7:33 AM, Blogger B.B. Pelletier said...


That looks like an old King or a Sentinel to me. $500-1,000 for one like it.

These are not my guns. I just write about the photos which are a century old in this case.

Tom Gaylord


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