An Everyday Hero

November 21, 2011
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You might not call him a hero. He is not a fireman, he never went of his way to save a cat from a burning building. He is my grampa, and I am his grandson, his weasel number one. He taught me how to fish and how to hunt. I can still remember the time I caught the biggest fish out of his little pond in Bow Hill, WA.
I was around two or three and we went out on the pond with our spirits, our fishing pole, our worms, and our boat. Our boat was an unhealthy one, it leaked and groaned. Some might not even call it a boat, but an orange inner tube lashed on to a piece of plywood, but that wouldn’t stop us from taking it out on the pond, after all, it could still float. We wet our lines and soon we had caught load of the fat, majestic fish we sportsman call rainbow trout. When grampa hooked the big one that didn’t get away, the entire family came out to watch me fight the Neanderthal on grampa’s tiny, three foot pole we call the Windowmaker. And make a widow it did, for we landed the biggest fish in the pond to this date, twenty-five inches at the tail, as big as a small salmon. When I go salmon fishing now, I often remember this epic battle between a fish and a grandson and his grampa.
Another memory shared between us is the killing of my first deer. We had searched every corner of Washington to find our prize, my first deer. The only place we hadn’t been all season was the San Juan Islands; legend says they have with deer like Mount Vernon has tulips. After parking our white pickup truck next to the orchard where the fabled deer resided, we met another hunter. He was using muzzleloader as opposed to shotgun. We chatted for a while and after he left we spotted a fawn in the orchard. It was a frantic rush to reach the pickup and the gun. We didn’t shoot the fawn, I’m not completely heartless, and he soon left. But we waited in the cold with a loaded gun, thinking, hoping a shootable deer would walk by. It was starting to get really, really cold. So cold that large, wet kisses of snowflakes started falling. That’s when she appeared, the doe. She was walking up a hill when saw her, and I settled the pin on her vital spot. I fired the trigger “nice-n-easy”: that’s what grampa told me. The slug didn’t go where I told it to go, though. It paralyzed her when it went through her spine. I was very sad when this happened: you aren’t supposed to mess up your first shot on your first deer. It took two more messy shots to take her down all the way. I still have the shells from my first and third shots. Later I found out that I did everything correctly when I took the shot, but grampa had sighted in the gun and that was what messed up my shot.





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