The INTJ’s Initial HuntPosted: July 25, 2013 | |
i think i was 8-9. but i know i was still a kid. it was during christmas vacation my mom
wanted me the fuck out the house sent me to my Paw-Paw for a week. oh, i meant my dad’s father.
i’ve never really written about my other grandfather before. although he and Paw-Paw (RIP) were friends, eventually my dad quit talking to his parents, which meant the grandfathers didn’t speak again. my dad’s dad was a VERY strict and hard man. he was Houma Indian. everytime i went to visit him i was playing in the woods, fishing, any and everything that had to do with being outdoors. he was teaching how to track small game, spot areas where animals were likely to seek cover, how to differentiate the sounds of the forest, how to mask my scent (dig small hole, place moss in hole, burn moss, let smoke soak into your clothing), you get the idea i’m sure. did I mention this was from ages 6-12? Lol.
he had close to 10 acres about an 2 hours west of new orleans. he had a small farm, a smoke house, a pond with TONS of fish, and a rabbit coop. did i mention 10 acres. yeah. i was always running into hunters while i was playing in the woods. now i know why they had a scowl on their faces when i saw them- i was spooking game. although back then, i was simply playing playing in the woods. popping squirrels with my BB gun (Paw-Paw bought me my first bb gun).
one day, just before evening, Paw-Paw and my dad’s little brother (Doug), decided to go spot rabbits…and invited me to come along. i was sooooo stoked. they’d NEVER asked me to go out into the forest with them. spotting rabbits is fairly simple- for them. my green ass had never done it before. Paw-Paw and Doug spent their entire lives in the woods.
spotting rabbits (the proper way- per Paw-Paw) was learning to not see the whole rabbit, but look for parts. that way, you don’t spook the rabbit and can take a shot. as Houma Tribe, Paw-Paw took the killing of animals VERY seriously. well, there’s another way to do it, or as Paw-Paw called it “the dishonest kill. if you shine a light on a rabbit it will freeze, then you shoot it. one person spots, the other shoots.
as we walked through the woods it started to rain slightly. being louisana men, this did little to deter us. we had spotted 2 rabbits and were looking for one more before heading in. well, by this point, with it being in the upper 50’s outside, and me wearing tennis shoes, i lost feeling in my feet.
i was DYING inside. every step was like walking on broken glass. then, i didn’t feel anything. i didn’t mutter a word. something inside me told me to shut the fuck up. finally we spotted another rabbit. Paw-Paw handed me the gun (a .22LR). i was shocked. i took the gun, took aim….
Paw-Paw decided that was enough for one night and we headed back in. as soon as i walked in the door i tore off my shoes and walked over to the fireplace. my Maw-Maw must have noticed me walking funny (mother nature having royally butt-fucked me) walked over to me, felt my feet and yelled out, “OH DEAR LORD!!!” i was sitting with my feet close to the fire and my grandmother pulled my feet away.
my Paw-Paw came over and felt my foot, look at me sternly and said, “why didn’t you say something boy?” i honest to God can’t remember what i uttered to him, but he walked away. i saw him speaking with my uncle and they would ocassionaly look my way.
Maw-Maw tended to my nearly frozen feet by keeping them dry and warm. had i kept my feet too close to the fire, i might have caused permanent nerve damage. they needed to be slowly warmed. needless to say, i was stuck in the house the next day since my feet were still pretty sore; but hey….at least i still had them, right? lol.
as i gimped around the house i can only assume my grandmother (who was the fucking BOMB btw) could sense my disappointment and as i sat petting my black lab watching tv my grandmother spoke-
“you know he’s proud of you right?”
i looked over at her, dumbstruck.
“you put the hunt before yourself. even though your feet were hurting, you never complained. of course he’s upset you hurt yourself, but he’s also proud that you acted like a man.”
i don’t think it’s physically possible for a woman to comprehend how it feels as a man (especially as young boy) learns he’s actually made someone he looks up to proud. i don’t know how to put it into words. i was sulking because i missed a shot and because my Paw-Paw was upset that i hurt myself. the possibility of making him PROUD never even crossed my mind.
from that moment on, my Paw-Paw treated me MUCH differently.
one of the main reasons i loved going to my grandparents farm was i was alone. just me, my dog, and the woods. i was GREAT in the woods. i could fish, i could trap small game, i could help with the chickens and rabbits. i could clean said animals for Maw-Maw to cook, i could literally disappear with my dog, canteen, knife and BB gun, and not come home for 2-3 days. my Paw-Paw would call for me at dusk, i’d call back to let him know i was fine….and that was it. i was at my camp in the woods, fire roaring, squirrel cooking.
contrast this to Danny back in NO.
i was a fucking geek. i was in all honors classes, played in what was called “academic games”, definately not one of the “cool kids”. i had friends in school and fortunately there wasn’t any groups looking to pick on us. i guess i was a normal kid in the sense that i played football, and baseball (neighborhood shit), but i was small and meek. i had ZERO confidence. i was girl crazy, but i sucked when it came to girls. lol. though i really didn’t notice girls until around 6th grade at the height of my geekdom. lol.
while the forest had helped build a great foundation, and i never forgot the lessons that my paternal grandfather had instilled in me, i still a WAAAAAAY to go. that’s when my OTHER Paw-Paw stepped in. he and mom finished the job.
I don’t really recall conversation with my dads father. He simply spoke to you, and I listened. He was very direct, and only talked when it was warranted.
But to this day, put me in the woods and feel right at home. And I feel my Dads father standing beside me proudly.
aslo h/t Stingray for her latest.
oh….guess who had to take his niece to see despicable me 2? Can you see the joy on my face.
As a reminder, this is me from back then (ARoss).