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by Mike Byers
(To be sung to the tune of “Kodachrome”)
When I think back on all the stuff, I did in High School
It's a wonder I'm not still in Jail.
The last two years (1978-79) at Dimond HS me and a bunch of fellow knuckleheads (Sand Lake Boyz 3.0) used to show up for first period class, then skip out and head to Taco Bell over by the Dimond Center.
When we were done with our tacos and burritos we would head for Upper-Huffman or DeArmond and go squirrel hunting.
As much as this is going to freak the living heck out of people today… yes we showed up with trunks full of guns and ammo. In the two years we did this no one was ever hurt. I don't believe we were the only ones doing it either.
After a quick meal at the Tijuana Telephone Co. we would head up the mountain. We would sit in total silence in these deep ravines and wait for the little varmints to come.
So while other kids were skipping school to go over to someone's house to listen to Cheech and Chong albums, we were doing some valuable community service by lessening the rodent population of Upper Hillside.
We would sit for hours and kill many fuzzy tailed tree rats. Then down the mountain we would head with a trunk full of dead vermin. Once we were back, a school we would divide up the booty and I always said, “you guys can have mine.” I didn't like eating fuzzy tailed tree rats.
It was during one of these clandestine hunting sorties that I had an experience that made me stop hunting for good.
I was sitting beneath a tree and a squirrel came out onto a branch in front of me and just sat there. I raised my .22 and fired. The little guy ran off dragging about two feet of his guts behind him.
I was so traumatized by seeing this that I have never killed another animal since.
I did 10 years in the Army and was an expert rifleman and an expert with my side arm which was a 9 mm Beretta. I won many military awards and was on the US Army NATO rifle Team.
I still try to make it to the range once a week.
But I never ever shot at another living being again.
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