Monday, June 26, 2006

Dust of Times Past

A young boy is awakened by his fathers touch from his peaceful dreams in his warm bed. "Get up, and get ready" "It's time to go" his father ordered. Rolling out of bed his excitement of the day ahead made him hurry. The boy dressed himself in a small hunting outfit just like his fathers and grabbed his red hat and BB gun as he ran for the door. Outside he was greeted by his uncle and father as they loaded his dog into the back of a old blue chevy pickup. The dog was excited too. Normally the dog stayed by the boy's side but today he was all business because he knew their destination. They all climbed in the cab of the truck and off they went.

They drove for what seemed an eternity to the boy till a dusty Georgia red dirt road sent them to their destination. The men unloaded the dog as his tail wagged with delight. Two shotguns were removed from the gun rack and the boy grabbed his BB gun as they silently and slowly walked thru the tall pines with the dog leading. They crossed creeks and used the rocks as stepping stones. Barbed wire occasionally grabbed him as they crossed the fields. The morning sun illuminated a field of tall brown broom sage. The boy had trouble getting thru it since it came to his chest. He pushed forward in it as it tickled his nose.

All of the sudden the dog froze. He was motionless with his nose pointing forward and tail up. The men drew the shotguns from their shoulder perch and aimed forward. Slow steps forward released a covey of quail as the scattered in every direction flying away. The shotguns blast startled the boy and thundered across the field as several birds dropped to the ground and lay dead. The forest became quite. The dog immediately began the search and returned with a mouthful of bird and feathers with almost a smile on his face.

Lunch consisted of peanut butter crackers, a moon pie and a coke as they sat on stumps and used a big rock for a table. They hunted till the boy was exausted and walked like what seemed forever back to the truck. The boy climbed in the back with his dog and as they drove home both settled into a afternoon nap. Once back at home the exausted dog's long white hair was dirty and matted with sticky cockleburs. The dog took up his spot on the porch as the boy watched his father pluck feathers and start to clean the birds. He did not like that part and found his toys to occupy his time.

As the time passed the hunting suddenly stopped as age had taken its toll. His uncle had died. His dog who had been his companion for 13 years died in his arms from old age. He had long outgrown his hunting outfit and it hung out of sight in the back of his closet forgotton. He often thought about the trips with his father and wished they could do them again someday, but they never did.

Many years later a man stands in a barn his father built. He had stood there many times but had never really noticed the long forgotton hunting clothing of his fathers hanging in the corner. Its plastic wrapping was covered with layers of dust of times past. His father too was now gone and the hunts themselves would be no more. All the fabric would contain now would be the memories of a boy, a dog and a hunt in the tall Georgia pines.

Written by: Greybiker

(Greybiker is a brand new contributer to the Dew. Welcome!)