By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
We have all heard that Proverb. I have a new one. Give a child a crossbow and…
For the sake of avoiding a heavy fine or incarceration, let’s just say this is a complete fantasy, no laws were broken in the making of this column and no animals were injured.
So the fictional child wanted to go squirrel hunting with a crossbow. This sounds as foolish to me as it does to you, but sometimes you just want to see how things turn out. It’s like the story I heard recently about a guy that told his buddy to hold his beer while he tried to tackle a deer. That one didn’t turn out so well.
We were still in spitting distance of the truck when she saw a potential target, only it wasn’t a squirrel. About 35 yards straight ahead was an innocent little bunny rabbit munching on clover. I’m guessing 35 yards is outside of her range. My range on bunny rabbits, I would guess, is 25 yards. But this is Annie Oakley we are talking about. The first time she shot a crossbow she hit the bull’s-eye, much to the chagrin of the boys that were shooting.
“Rule is if you shoot it you have to eat it. Are you going to eat Bugs Bunny?”
“No, but you and grandpa will.”
Then I heard the twang of a crossbow string and the swish of an arrow. The arrow hit the rabbit dead center. But this wasn’t Bugs Bunny, it was the Energizer Bunny. The rabbit jumped 5-feet in the air and did a complete flip. It then took off like a rabbit through the woods with an arrow sticking out both sides. It looked like a rotisserie chicken as it leaped out of site.
We ran after it but you cannot keep pace with a rabbit, even in the form of shish kabob. We looked in brush piles and holes. We then checked the mountain high and the valley low. There was no sign of rabbit. No blood. No fur. No goodbye note. At one point, several hundred yards from the scene of the crime a rabbit bounded up a steep hill. I did not see an arrow and it was moving well. I gave chase with no success.
She was a little upset about the incident because she didn’t want to lose another arrow. That night we sat down to a meal of homemade Raman noodles wondering how rabbit would taste.
And if you find a rabbit with an arrow in it, it is just coincidence because this story is not true. But the arrow can be sent to the Sentinel Echo. My fictional daughter will pretend she is happy.