This is a discussion on The day i was almost famous. within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; In the late summer of 72, I was at home alone on a hot ,late summer day in eastern KY. Both grandparents were at work, ...
In the late summer of 72, I was at home alone on a hot ,late summer day in eastern KY. Both grandparents were at work, but I knew my grandfather would be home soon. As I watched thru the glass siding door, looking for a groundhog in the fields, I saw something that made the world stop. Out of the tree line, walking upright, was a large bird like creature. It had purplelish feathers and a fierce looking head, with large eyes and the longest legs I had ever seen! I stood there almost trembling, as much with the excitement that a 7 year old boys mind can imagine. What could this be! I begin to search my mind, but surely no human has ever cast his eyes on such a sight! Then it came to me; it had to be a pteradactol! Probably a left over from the prehistoric days! You see it all made sense. If there was a bigfoot, a Lockness monster, and surely there was, then this was a prehistoric discovery!
Quickly I began to imagine how famous I would be if I could catch this creature. Why, I would probably be on the news and even on WILD KINGDOM, a special guest of Marlin Perkins! They may even want me to be an assistant to Jim! We had three TV channels back then[but we could only get 2] and surely I would appear on them all! We would be rich, and could probably even build another barn that we needed. I had to act fast!
So, I snuck out the back door and went to the shed, grabbed a hand full of bailing twine and fashioned a lasso. My plan was to lasso it around that long neck and put it in the barn. My grandfather would be so proud of me when he got home!
As approached the bird, twirling my bailing twine lasso, things went terribly wrong. It hissed at me like a giant snake and attempted to hit me with its beak. But quick as a cat, I dodged. At this point it began to run uphill towards the woodline. I tried to catch it, but it was too fast[prehistoric creatures are known for being fast and aggressive].
Realizing this called for drastic measures, I ran into the house and retrieved my rifle. It was a gift from papa for my 6th birthday, a single shot Ithica lever action. I was deadly accurate with it, and could have hunted bear,bigfoots, or anything on earth with it, so it would be good for prehistoric birds too I surmised.
I grabbed a handful of shells, the new WINCHESTER WILDCAT LONG RIFLE,[papa said they shot best] and up the hill I ran, as fast as my little legs could go, determined to settle the matter once and for all. It wasnt going to be pretty, but a man has to do what a man has to do!
And there it was, making its way deeper into the woods running away from me about 40 yards.
I cocked the hammer, raised my monster slayer to my cheek, took a good site picture, stopped breathing[papa said not to hold your breath too long] and squeezed the trigger. THAAAWACK! A direct hit. The monster begin to stumble and sway, it forward progress stopped. I quickly and expertly reloaded, took aim, and CRACK!, the big purple prehistoric bird was down! I had proof!
I took my trophy down to the barn and tied it up on the barn door, so its full size and height could be admired. About that time my grandfather was coming down the gravel road in his full sized Ranger pkup.
Before he could get the door open of his truck, I was there telling him of my hair raising and dangerous encounter with a prehistoric bird, and explained to him that we would be famous.
I was a little disappointed when he saw the creature by his reaction. He was kind of quiet and deep in thought as we walked to the house. Perhaps, he was thinking of how we would use all the money.
Once in the house, he got a drink of lemonade, and called Gaylord. Now Gaylord was a farmer that was our nearest neighbor. He was very good to me. Gave me baby ducks to raise, tractor rides, my first chew of tobacco and how to properly spit. He always smelled like hay, diesel fuel, and a barn.
After the phone call, papa said that we had to take my rare trophy up to Gaylords house. I assumed it was so Gaylord could properly identify it.[Gaylord knew everything]
On the way to his house, with the big purple prehistoric bird stretched out in the bed of the truck, my grandfather finally had something to say.
He informed me that I had not in fact killed a prehistoric creature, but a bird called an Ostrich, and that it was one of several that Gaylord owned.[At that time it was rumored that Mcdonalds would use Ostrich meat for its burgers, and some farmers were trying to get a jump start on this oppurtunity].
My papa explained to me that when a man makes a mistake, he still has to admit his mistake and offer something called restitution. So now I have to tell this old family, who I dearly love, and who has been so good to me that I have commited a terrible thing against him. I was almost in tears. I didnt want to be a man.
As we pulled in Gaylords driveway, he came out of the house with his work close on, and before I could confess, looked at my papa and said,''Charlie, what do you do with a boy that you you try to be good to, give tractor rides to and even let him steer,give him ducks, and then he turns around and kills your darned bird?
That was about all I could take. At this point I could have fit under the seat of the truck.
As I walked around to apologize, eyes getting wet now, trembling and ashamed, I looked up at Gaylord, and before I could speak, he grabbed me in a bear hug and told me it was ok. The 2 old men were going to have a little fun with me, but didnt have the heart to see me cry, and let me off the hook.
Gaylord explained that he had bought 3, but could not keep them up and he was afraid that they would get hit by a car and hurt someone. Gaylord went on to proclaim that I could shoot them all if I saw them runnin around!
So, for a brief time, with the imagination and enthusiasm of a young boy in the early 70s, I was almost famous.
Hope this brings back some wild childhood memories for some of you.
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i think good is an understatement, i teared up a little bit, great story of a childhood memory
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Glad it all turned out ok. Good story.
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What a great story!
Your story reminded me of a few of my own from my days growing up in the countryside of Michigan...
(muskrats reviving in the house, incidents involving yellow jackets, fire crackers, tree climbing, etc.)
Thanks for sharing.
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Great story. You might want to put these stories in a notebook that you hang onto. Grandkids and great-grandkids will get a kick out of it.
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Good read, thanks I enjoyed it.
Yes it does bring back some memories of my childhood days. Mine was kinda morbid, but I was only seven or eight years old so it's kinda easy for me to forget it.
I was moved around quite a bit as a child being a ward of the state and all. Anyway, I was sent to live with this couple on a farm who I believe were in it for the extra money. A short time after being there they decided to go into town or something, but either way I wasn't invited. They stuck me and another kid that they took on in the attic and gave us a box of chicks to keep us occupied. BIG MISTAKE. I can't remember to much being so young and all, but in the end when they finally opened the door to the attic a few hours later and came up to get us, all the chicks were dead. Like I said, I can't remember how, or even if I had anything to do with it, but I can remember some gruesome details as to how they were dispatched, but by whom is either blocked or missing. Needless to say, I was not with that family long after that and was soon adopted by another couple and went on to live a somewhat uneventful life.
Anyway, if this post has offended anyone my apologies to you and I'd like to say that; regardless what happened that day, I'm a huge advocate for animal rights and if I saw someone abusing any animal, I have and would defend the animal with extreme malice. Just the other day I called the sheriffs department on a house that had a Jack Russell terrier tied to their mail box just feet from a very busy road. The poor animal had no water and was scared to death by all the traffic. I stayed there parked across the street until the sheriff showed up with animal control to take it to our counties NO KILL shelter. I didn't even give a hoot that the owner was there and obviously not happy with me.... Later my wife called the sheriffs dept and inquired about the pup and she was told that the owner would have to pay a substantial fee if they wanted the pup back. At the risk of sounding judgmental, I don't think they can afford it. Anyway, I'm almost afraid to post this due to the opinions it might generate, but it happened and like I said, I truly can't remember taking part in the brutality, but in the end, I became a advocate for the ones that can't defend themselves against their oppressors and will until I go toes up. The SPCA commercials with Sarah McLachlan will literally make me tear up if I don't change the channel. I take some pride in the fact that both my pets I have been shelter rescue animals and I give um all the love than they can stand.
That was great! You took down and ostrich with a .22? So much for 10MM....
Wow, gottabkidden,I'm sorry you had to go thru type of childhood, but it seems to have made you a better person for it. Sometimes that's he way God works. Takes bad and makes it good.
Thanks GM10 I appreciate the kind words. I agree, God's word points us in the right direction and then it's up to us... I found God in my late teens and after that I've always tried to do what's ethically and morally right, so far so good. I still have my short comings as a husband and a human being, but I call it a work in progress. Again thanks for the interesting thread and a for the chance to reflect on days gone by, both good and bad.
Stay safe out there my friend.
Back in the early 90's I was driving down a road going home when an Emu started racing me in the ditch,next thing I know hes in front of me running down the road.After about a mile he peeled off and headed across a pasture.There were some people heard Emu meat was gonna be better than beef,when it didn't take off there were people that released the birds so they wouldn't need to keep feeding them
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My brother never confessed to my father that he was the one who "accidentally" shot the cow in the rearend, with a shotgun. ... right after my father had warned him not to shoot in that area as the cows were there. But, he knew ...... and he kept saying what he was going to do to the person when he found out, so my brother got the message. He didn't "man-up".
Yep, that first time you have to "man-up" can be an interesting and torturing experience.
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When I get back to my truck I see a whole bunce of large three toed prints in the dirt. Now this was not to long after the "Lizard Man" sightings; and it was along the same river bottom in a neighboring county. (So, my mind started to "wonder" just a little.)
I still could hear the dogs "hounding" something. But, it was now coming from across the road and sounded like they were about to enter a huge open field. So, I set up beside my truck using the hood as a rest. (I figured I'd risk a fine; afterall killing South Carolinas version of Bigfoot would give me fame & fourtune.)
Just as I get set up, I see this strange looking two legged creature running across a field @ 600+yds out. I take a quick look through my scope and and see a big Emu; followed by 1/2 a dozen deer hounds. After quickly rubbing my eyes and shaking my head I looked again to make sure I wasn't seeing things.
After this I went to talk to the property owner; and he told me there used to be an Emu & Ostrich farm up the road. It seems when hurricane Hugo pummeled SC a whole bunch of birds escaped. They were able to cath most of them; but some escaped into the swamps. So, if anyone finds themselves hunting in the "Lynches" river area of SC, be aware that there is a "wild" breeding population of these birds around.
My Uncle shot a big red Angus bull in the balls with a BB gun when he was a kid. He learned a valuable lesson that day and in case you've ever wondered.....no, bulls do not forget people that shoot them in the balls.
If I gave a crap about what you think about my guns.....it was early this morning and I already flushed it!