Shotgun Wedding

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Published on: Oct. 2, 2001

Last revision: Nov. 9, 2010

Turkey Hunting

came into an opening in the brush and I centered it above the bead on the end of the long-barreled Model 12. A micro-second later, I had taken a nine-pound juvenile. It was nothing to bore you with, but it was my first fall turkey.

I dressed the bird and contemplated its innards. I poked through a handful of turkey plumbing and found the liver. I carried the organ to our pond, threaded it on a hook and pitched it in. Thirty seconds later I was fast to a five-pound channel cat which became supper. The hunter-gatherer had come home bearing his shield, not on it.

I even considered buying a lottery ticket. When you're on a roll ...

The week flew by in a frenzy of housecleaning, arriving guests and wedding decorations. The last time I saw anything as elaborate was when Prince Charles and Diana got married. I had no time to think about killing a second turkey.

Eddie and Dina were married beneath a big old oak tree, red with autumnal color. Marty, Eddie's mother, cried, and I must have gotten something in my eye-or maybe it was a fall allergy.

The next day was the last of the fall season, but I figured I'd run out my string of luck the previous Saturday and decided to spend the last few hours of the season contemplating the inside of my eyelids.

I was imitating a Shopsmith sawing lengths of knotty pine, when another of our sons woke me and said, "There's turkeys up in the woods." He had taken a walk around the place and flushed several.

Once again I seized serendipity by the throat, put on my musty camo gear and trudged into the woods. A half-hour later, I came to the house with an 11-pound hen, one of a dozen that investigated my doleful dirge.

The family, including the newlyweds, rushed to the yard once again to see the hunter-gatherer come home with his bounty. The turkey bounced against my back as I strode into the yard like Odysseus back from the wars. I lay it on the ground amid admiring murmurs. Eddie and Dina stood hand-in-hand, their happiness radiant.

Marty looked at them. "Isn't that beautiful?" she asked, her eyes misty.

I gazed down at the turkey and smiled gently. "It sure is," I replied. "I never shot two turkeys in a season before."

I don't understand the dirty look I got. I guess some people just don't appreciate fall turkey hunting.

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