This short story is not for the faint
of heart, animal lovers, or wonderful people of that ilk.
This is a story my sister, Cris, has been threatening to
tell but I convinced her that that it would probably alter
forever any positive feelings that any of the remaining
VOB'rs so inclined had of me. It is more for those who were
like me when they were about 11 or 12 years old but aren't
willing to admit it. I know there are others because I ran
around with them and most of them have been mentioned in
earlier memories that I have shared.
It was a bright blistering hot Saturday
as I recall....not really unusual for that matter. I was
at home in the early afternoon and my parents were out of
the camp on one of their rides. I had come home from the
Lavins’ house where I had been talking to Bobbie Lavin
under the garage of their house. They lived just down the
street from us in a corner house. We lived adjacent to the
staff school. Anyway, Bobbie's grandmother lived with them
and she loved canaries. In fact, she raised yellow canaries
in several cages that were on a table where the washing
machine and outdoor laundry tub were on the raised cement
foundation that packed the maid's room and was outside the
kitchen window of their house -- just like ours and all
of the homes on our street. Bobbie did not like his grandmother
and particularly hated the canaries and told me he would
like to kill them.
Bobbie's father, John, had recently
published his first book, “A Halo For Gomez”
which was about the dictator preceding Perez Jimenez.
Anyway, Bobbie's grandmother really
doted on those birds and she had progressed to the point
where she mated the birds and raised canaries. Oh, they
were cute and their songs would fill the air.
So, I returned home and there I was
sitting on the back porch nursing a cold coke bored with
nothing to do really, when I noticed a yellow canary land
on the power lines behind the house. It sat there twittering
away and along comes another and lands beside it.
You know, there is nothing worse
than boredom…….specially when you’re young
and restless. I remembered what Bobbie had said about his
grandmother’s canaries and I slowly set my coke down
and went into the house and got my pellet gun. It was a
Sheridan Silver Streak that we had smuggled into the country
inside a golf bag full of clubs. I also brought out a tin
of pellet and sat down on the porch steps.
Not to digress too far, but I was
a crack shot with the Sheridan. Sheridan was the most powerful
pump pellet gun on the market and very accurate. My brother
and I had been hunting with it for a couple of years ----more
I proceeded to load and pump up the
gun, aimed at one of the canaries still on the line and
PFFFFFTTTTT – feathers flew. It fell to the ground.
The other canary stayed on the line and was joined by three
more. I repeated the action dropping another canary. To
my amazement, more canaries joined those already on the
line and so I proceeded to pick off canaries. At no point
were the birds disturbed by the clacking of the wooden pump
handle against the gun as I stroked air into the pressure
chamber. At some point my sister Cris joined me to observe
the action or the after-carnage. I would load the gun and
let her sight down the barrel and attempt to hit a canary.
She was too young and did not have enough strength to pump
the air rifle. Within about twenty minutes there were anywhere
from 11 to 21 canaries – depending upon my sister’s
memory versus mine -- in a soft yellow pile on the ground
under the power line and still more sitting on the line
above twittering away.
At some point, I came to my senses
or more like, what would happen to me if my parents found
out or the Penhales who lived behind us saw what I was doing
or had done and of course there was my sister who could
rat me out. So I stealthily tossed the little yellow bodies
into the trash can which was adjacent to the killing field.
I must have covered them with something to hide them from
Mom or the maid who were the only ones who might discover
them. I returned to the porch and finished my Coke.
No one ever found me out and to her
credit, Cris, never ratted me out – she is 7 years
younger than me.
There…..I have confessed my
sin. I feel better now and after I complete confessing the
remaining sins, I will feel great!!!
.......and so there is the story
while out on a jeep drive back in the monte with my parents
my brother and I observe a big bull walking in the field
beside the road and we could see its scrotum swinging back
and forth as we approached and being, like of mind, we quickly
loaded and charged the pellet gun....
That’s the way it really was
growing up in Tia Juana.