Clarence Takes A Stand This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The snow was falling softly on that dark December day. Clarence and I had just oiled up our assault rifles, and we figured it was time we made good use of them. So, despite the fact that it wasn't season or nothing, we decided to go hunting for whatever might catch our eye. The woods around our parts are pretty near full of every type of wildlife you can think of. We got deer, we got rabbits. Heck! We even got a couple of stray dogs. The only thing that saddened us in this respect was the fact that there ain't a single elephant out our way. Clarence and I often wished that we had been born in one of them veldt places in Africa so that Clarence could put his nice big elephant gun to good use. He got her for his seventh birthday, and boy, she was a dandy. She was as shiny and solid as old Uncle Ernie's prize pig on fair day.

Anyhow, after we decided to set out hunting, I went inside and got my ammunition. We each took 37 rounds. Seeing as how that was Clarence's favorite number and we didn't want to put any beast, no matter how dumb, through any misery or nothing. Yes sir, we are the most humane hunters in all Washington County. So after we was all loaded up and all, we set out. We donned our little orange hunting caps, got in the pick up and drove on down to the woods. Them woods are pretty in the winter. With snow covering every tree. We knew any critter would stand out in a hunting situation like this. We was ecstatic. It only took 2.754 seconds before a nice, juicy coon came sniffing around. Good old Clarence saw him before I did.

He raised his gun up steadily and whispered, "This one's mine, Lee."

Well, I couldn't quibble with a man's right to kill the coon he saw first, so I didn't make a move. Little did I know, but Clarence had converted his old semi-auto. So when he missed with that first shot, he just held the trigger down and filled those woods with his .357 lead-tipped, armor piercing bullets. Pretty soon he had run out, though, and silence filled the woods like the odor of manure fills the exhibition hall on fair day. Clarence opened his eyes and looked. Lo and behold, the coon was still standing! It seemed like there was one of those bullets everywhere in Washington County except in the coon. Luckily, Clarence had brought along his Smith &Wesson revolver. He drew it out of his pocket faster than you could recite the preamble to the Constitution and shot off all six rounds before you could say it again. Well, that coon must have been able to run faster than you can talk, because when Clarence looked up (he hates to look at what he's shooting), the coon was gone.

Clarence was a little disappointed, but he didn't mind. He had his elephant gun in his back pocket. I can't rightly say how he carried it around in there, but he did. When he drew it out, I was inclined to praise his ability to hide such large objects in such small places, so I did. Anyhow, we knew he wouldn't have long before another noble beast came by, so we was content to sit.

We had been sitting no longer than twelve seconds when Clarence's nostrils began to twitch. Taking this as a sign that there was some prey around, I stood up. Sure 'nuff I spied something pink moving a couple of hundred yards off. I took careful aim, and then fired 36 of my 37 bullets straight at my target. I figured I might need to save one bullet to defend myself against some unmoraled youth on the way home. Anyhow, upon the firing of the 32 bullet, I heard a loud squeal from the direction in which I was firing. I squealed back: a squeal of victory. I, the lone hunter (except for the company of Clarence), had tamed the wild with nothing more than my assault rifle. That is what America is all about. Actually, it turned out that what I had vanquished was already tame. It was Uncle Ernie's prize pig. That didn't matter, though, as long as Uncle Ernie didn't find out that I was the man guilty of sending his hog to hog heaven. I had still vanquished something.

Just then, Clarence came up. He was feeling somewhat despondent about having missed the coon and all, so I let him take a few shots at the pig with his elephant gun. It was gettin' dark, though, so soon we got in the truck and headed on home. The sun was setting over Job's Hill, and Clarence and I were content with a day's hunting.

As it turned out, I never did have to use that last bullet to defend myself, and we didn't really need to hunt them animals, but we are proud to be gun-wielding Americans. Guns are the American way, and I am filled with pride when I think that the murder rate is higher in the United States than in any other western country just because guns are so easily obtained here.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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