Grandpa, Coons and Sharp
coon was dead when she hit the ground, so Sharp didn't even need to wrestle her. He brought her to Grandpa and laid her on the ground at his feet. Grandpa rewarded Sharp with a kind word and scratch between the ears, and then I did the same. After praising Sharp, I picked up the coon and said, "Wow, you might need to carry her, Grandpa." He took her from me and said it was one of the biggest he'd seen around. At that point, I couldn't have asked for more, but Grandpa and Sharp wanted to continue, and so did I, for that matter.
Sharp was more eager than ever and acted like he knew right where we should go next. He waited for Grandpa to hiss him off again, and then he took off like a shot. We walked toward the creek, keeping a wide distance from Blanton's house so we wouldn't wake their dogs. We crossed the creek at the road to keep from risking a fall in the shallow, icy water. We talked in low voices about anything that came to mind. I asked Grandpa stuff like, "How many coons do you figure you've killed in your life?" and, "What do coons do all day to keep out of sight?" and, "Tell me about your best coon hunt."
Grandpa's dripping nose and my numbing fingertips told me the night was getting colder. We had planned to turn north on the creek (Grandpa and Granny called it the branch) and head upstream to Miller's property. We hadn't gone but a few steps when Sharp's voice called us again. This time, he was far across Blanton's field and up the hill to the east. Grandpa and I stepped a little quicker this time because Sharp was so far away. We crossed the field and climbed over Blanton's gate. Grandpa grumbled about being so close to the Blanton house and barn and that we might wake their dogs. Sure enough, Blanton's dogs started howling at us and Sharp, and there was nothing we could do about it. Grandpa muttered something I couldn't quite understand.
We didn't have to go far up the hill to find Sharp. He was circling the largest post oak in sight. The tree was so big and had such a good canopy that we couldn't find anything for a while. In fun, Grandpa said to