I used to shoot small birds
Yes, back in the day, I pleasured me by shooting to death… sparrows.
(not pretty, is it?)
Not proud of it. And as Texan-Rightly, not ashamed of it neither. (What we did then, back in the day…)
“Just Texan Kids havin’ fun,” they would say. (‘They’, generally being Grandmothers—maternal grandmothers)
“They looked aside.”
Looking back now, I am ashamed of all the sparrow lives I so easily and callously took. Tis a small thing in the big scheme of things, yes I Know. But, it bothers me still. As I am certain the memory of dead kittens haunts my ‘maternal’ grandfather over all those ‘Damn-we-got-too-many-cats-he’ah-on-this-place.” (As he shot them to death in front of my young, sensitive, later to become, my mother)
He, her father, she my future mother…. shit! She never got over that. Such a beautiful young, sensitive girl…. Watching her father murder kittens. How could he not know the way he fucked up her young mind, murdering innocents that way? Drove her nuts. She never forgot, nor got over it. Such an asshole. I loved him. He shot at me, but I deserved it. The cats did not.
But I was as bad as him (Granddaddy) Once, while my mother was there in Winnsboro on holiday, I shot a sparrow, but it was still alive. I brought its little half – dead jerking body into the kitchen. My mother was there. She freaked the fuck out. And rightly so… She tried to nurse the dying bird back to life. For three days. To loosely quote Melville: Call me Asshole. For that was what I was. I had done the worst thing in the world to my dear mother. If there is a hell, I already have my pre-paid ticket.
Don’t shoot sparrows
And don’t shoot kittens.
They will haunt you.
For some many years.
I suppose this is the point of this post.
‘Don’t shoot.’ (unless the sparrow is trying to kill you, that is…)
Credit: Billy Joel (“No shit Lance? Really?”)