Whitesburg KY

Boys had special job during rabbit hunts

When my brother and I were just little sprouts we would go rabbit hunting with Dad and we played the part of a rabbit dog, meaning us boys would jump a rabbit and Dad would shoot it if it was within range.

There were a lot of brush piles back then in pastures and the like. We would get atop a brush pile and jump up and down until a rabbit got uneasy enough to run out, if there was one there. We ate a passel of rabbits as a result of our antics and had a lot of fun too.

And that was one way we got to spend a little time with Dad. Mother passed away and he remarried. After he remarried we got to spend precious little time with him alone unless we were working on something with him. And there wasn’t a whole lot we could do since we were only 7 or 8 years of age. We enjoyed being with him no matter what he was doing.

We lived about a mile, or a little over, on the River Road above Blackey at the time. We had a half brother and when he reached school age we moved closer to Blackey so he wouldn’t have quite so far to walk to school, since there was no such things as school buses.

We didn’t care a thing about moving away from the good friends and neighbors we had, but we had to move just the same. We didn’t know what was in store for us but we soon found out.

The place we moved to had a six-foot fence around it, and we weren’t allowed outside the fence unless we were told to do so. There was a family who lived right below us and liked to rabbit hunt too, the old man did at least. But he didn’t have a rabbit dog either.

One day he and Dad hashed it around awhile and decided us boys could still jump the rabbits, and one of them would shoot it. We only went one time with this man and that was enough.

We were high on the kill and had to cross the fence (probably was barbed wire) and he got hung and tore his pants. He ranted and raved for at least 10 or 15 minutes and the words he was saying aren’t in old man Webster’s Dictionary.

Dad looked at us boys and just shook his head because Dad never used the Lord’s name in vain. For that matter there’s not and never has been anyone who ever heard me take the Lord’s name in vain. I’m not perfect but neither is anyone else.

Anyway, there was no rabbit on the dinner table on this day. And shortly after this incident the man found out he had cancer. He didn’t go back to the doctor or to the hospital and took nothing to ease his misery. He soon became bedfast and lay there and suffered until his death gave him relief. You could hear him going on 24 hours a day.

Days turned to weeks and weeks into months, but I never in all that time heard him call on the Lord for help, the only one who could have helped him. It didn’t bother me then but it does now because I don’t desire that any soul goes to hell. That’s all from the funny farm till next time.

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