It was not unusual when I was a kid for a father to introduce his son to hunting at an early age. After all, rabbits, pheasants and deer were a means to an end in self sufficiency in lean times. My dad bought me a BB gun/air rifle for my 9th birthday and began to teach me how to shoot. Apparently, I wasn’t paying attention when he talked about knowing the dangers, in the event you miss!
Soon after getting the air rifle, I was showing off my marksmanship to a friend and targeted a sparrow on our fence. While I noticed our neighbour’s brand new Buick across the fence, it never occurred to me that I might miss.
As it turned out, the bird flew away and several hours later, our neighbour came storming in our front door to confront my father. Apparently, the pellet had hit the side window of his new car just right and shattered it, before hitting the inside of the front window and obliterating it as well. I had no idea what I had done. I guess after missing the bird I simply turned away, completely oblivious to the damage I had inflicted. I am sure it cost my parents a pretty penny to fix the car. I don’t remember getting a hiding from my dad, but I became much more aware of my surroundings after that. Experience is a great teacher.
An Irresistible Target
One mid afternoon, I found myself in our oversized garage with my BB gun, when I saw Zeo Dagos, a local teenager – likely about 16 or 18 years old – walking up the sidewalk in front of our house. The door to the garage was just slightly ajar as he strolled toward me. To this day, I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but I peaked out the large sliding door and took aim. I had no grudge against him, no axe to grind – but I shot him square in the ass. He jumped around like he had been tasered and I hightailed it for cover. He never found me, nor did he ever confront me, though he must have suspected.
I never said a word about that incident to a soul, until nearly 50 years later when I ran into his brother. I confessed to my transgression and we shared a laugh. I still chuckle to myself about that day, though I never pointed a gun at a human being ever again. According to his brother, Zeo has become quite religious. I hope he can forgive me!
As the saying goes “the devil made me do it” 😊