“Uh, Dad, could you come outside for a minute? I need to talk to you.”
Isaac had a tone in his voice that suggested a variety of possibilities to me.
Outside in the garage he held up an arrow with a red smear at the point end.
“I hit a rabbit with the bow and arrow.”
“That’s not blood, that’s paint,” I said in disbelief.
“No it’s blood!” David and Benjamin stood by to offer their witness as testimony in the case.
“Yeah, I tried to hit it with a stick after it starting running around the yard,” said David. He held the club proudly.
“OK, what really happened here?” I asked. They had my attention now.
Isaac related that he’d shot the rabbit through the flesh of the neck as it sat in the bush and that afterwards the poor beast tore through the yard in a some sort of agonizing death sprint. Apparently it had run down the street and under the neighbor’s shed where it was cowering in the cool darkness, waiting for death as animals are wont to do.
The question at hand was what to do now. I encouraged them, “Well, you’ve started the job. Now you’ve got to go and finish it. Get the rabbit and gut it and clean it. Strip the hide and read up on tanning it. Make the most of your efforts.”
It was funny. All three of them had mixed feelings about their first kill. I think they were as surprised as the rabbit that they’d finally managed to hit something. They’d tried with the bow and arrow and sticks and rocks before; this was the first real contact.
In their efforts to flush the bunny from underneath the shed the neighbor came out and shooed them away. They weren’t confident enough to tell her the full story. Maybe that’s good for now. After all, some people think bunnies are cute.