If cartoon animation could take on flesh, I would bet the farm that I gave birth to Elmer Fudd eight years ago. Last fall, when our darling George turned 8, we had the grand idea of giving him a bb gun for his birthday.
I didn't think it would be that big of a deal, but oh, it's big. He treasures that thing like one of his limbs. Every free moment of every day he's outside hunting something. I thought that the newness of the thing would wear off after a while, or the freezing cold would discourage him from wandering around our acreage in hopes of finding something he can sneak up on. No. No, no, no.
As long as there is daylight and school is not in session, George is traipsing around the farm scoping out anything that moves, hoping to sneak up on it. Some mornings he goes outside before anyone even gets up out of bed just to go hunting. In these photos he's obviously dressing the part, but most days he just throws on a good ol' pair of boots with whatever he's got on (shorts and sweats are my favorite), along with his Carhart work coat and a hat. He has no idea how this puts us all in stitches every day!
George's little pellet popping weapon also holds some disciplinary leverage for mommy. Don't even think about skipping your school work, ignoring your chores or duking it out with your brother, or I will take that gun away faster than you can say "wabbit."
I sort of envisioned George using the gun to target practice, shooting holes in pop cans and milk jugs. Apparently that's like asking a girl to use her curling iron without plugging it in. In the beginning I was a little bit uneasy with all of the casualties (honestly, I can't believe what a great marksman he is!). First, it was the birds, proudly brought into the house for me to see in an old flower pot. After I told him that I really didn't need to see all that, George thought it would be a good idea to bury the birds in a "bird graveyard" and give them names and a proper burial. How thoughtful. Soon, according to George, the graveyard got too full, so now he just tosses them into the trees. He'll aim at anything that flutters, but cardinals, blue-jays, finches, meadowlarks, oriels and robins are off limits - mommy's rules.
I'm pretty much over the fowl casualties, it's the rabbits that still make me squirm. Now, please, don't be visualizing the bunny character, Thumper, in Bambi, the cute, soft, cuddly, fluffy tailed rabbit. Oh, no, if Elmer killed Thumper, I'd run that gun over with a tractor. He hunts the rabbits that overpopulate the farm, eat my garden in the summer, and mysteriously multiply all in the time it takes George to reload, cock and aim. I'll never forget George shot his first rabbit. There he was, standing proud on the deck, holding the lifeless creature by the ears, grinning from ear to ear as if he had just saved our family from starvation.
Who knows how much longer his interest will remain interesting. I do have to say, however, that while I can't relate to his enthusiasm for hunting, it does give me a special joy to see his adventurous, 100% boy spirit enjoying a sport in the vast outdoors, rather than whining for more tv time. Now, I just need to find him an Elmer Fudd hat.