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 stories.

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.

 

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