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A Quail of a Time



“That bird just shit on me!” I yelled, my finger pointing aimlessly toward the sky. I could feel the white glob starting to slide down the side of my face.

“Want me to shoot him for you?” my cousin Artemis asked.

“Heaven knows he can’t do it himself,” said Uncle Kipp.

Kevin, another cousin was literally rolling on the ground, shaking with laughter. This was the only reason they ever brought me hunting. I seriously couldn’t hit the side of a parked bus with a rocket launcher, there was no way I was ever going to shoot a moving quail with 12-guage.

I only went to get away from the women and the apple orchards. Trust me, the one year I opted for that was even worse. I still can’t use a ladder without chuckles erupting.

I sighed and walked back over to camp to get my towel.

“I’m spending next fall in Hawaii,” I muttered to myself along the way. I could feel the hushed whispers behind me.

“Tell ya what, Danny-boy,” started my uncle. “You bag yourself a single quail this trip and we’ll stop making fun of you.”

All eight of my cousins let out the laughter they were failing at concealing.

“For this,” one of them yelled.

After wiping most of the bird shit off my face, I tossed the towel on the ground.

“Whatever,” I said and wandered toward the edge of the woods. I was heading toward the stream to wait out the rest of this day in peace. I almost made it there too.

“Oh, don’t be such a woman about it!” called George. I turned around, still walking backward toward my destination.

“Hey, I resent that!” hollered Sue-Ellen, the one female cousin who never missed a family hunting trip. She aimed her shotgun and fired. The quail fell to the ground.

"Just you wait,” I yelled. “One of these days you’ll need one of the skills I do possess and-"

I felt the heel of my boot catch on a root. My arms flailed, all balance lost. Somehow on the way down my finger pulled the trigger and my gun kicked. Panic overtook me and I couldn’t breathe. Seconds later something landed on my face.

“That doesn’t count!” I heard Sue-Ellen yell.

An unnatural stench burned the insides of my nostrils and something tickled my eyelashes. It was a quail! I shot a quail! I scrambled to my feet and held it up.

“Now, shut the hell up.” I called.

“I think it’s the one that shit on him,” yelled Kevin.

“That’ll teach ‘em” replied Uncle Kipp. “Dirty pheasants.”

I was done with the whole fiasco. As I turned to find my spot along the stream, the quail in my hand squirmed. Started, I repelled it toward the ground a few feet from me.

The damn thing was still alive. I hadn’t shot it at all.

“Yup, Hawaii it is.” I muttered, checking to make sure no one saw.

This story was written by Sonja Biberstine, who has dreamed the same dream for over 20 years. She's never wanted to do anything except write, which is why she is a Paralegal student and mother of two. Check her out on Facebook >> Facebook.com/SonjaBiberstine.Official

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