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Just LIke Uncle Timmy

Just LIke Uncle Timmy

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Published by leonrice
Young boys relationship with his uncle.
Young boys relationship with his uncle.

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Published by: leonrice on Jan 20, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/25/2011

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Allen Rickenbacker was a pleasant little child. He lived in a small town in southern Missouri,with his parents Sam and Eva. He was in the fifth grade at Cameron Elementary School. LittleAllen’s mind was a blank slate, a canvas on which the imprints of life were to be written.He was a generous little boy. On one occasion, he had been chastised by his teacher andparents for giving money to his classmates. It seems that he had a great deal of money thatvarious people - aunts, uncles and grandparents - had given him. Some of the kids had beentalking, and had indicated that their families didn’t have any money and that times were hard for them. Allen decided that, having plenty of money of his own, he would simply give the money tohis friends. So, every day, he would load his pockets with change and bills, take it to school andunpretentiously give the money away.When his teacher got wind of this, she decided that this was simply unacceptable and thatthe behavior had to stop; she called Allen‘s parents, they discussed it at length, and Allen wastold that he had to stop doing this. This small incident only demonstrates the innocence of Allen’s malleable little mind. Needless to say, I could have simply said, “He was a good littleboy.”Allen’s aunt and uncle, Timothy and Angela Brighton lived on a 900 acre farm outside of Allen’s town. Allen worshiped the ground upon which Uncle Timothy, or as Allen called him,Uncle Timmy, walked. Little Allen spent as much time as possible on their farm. He lovedeverything about the farm: He loved the horses, the cattle, the ducks, the dogs, the cats, andlast but not least, he loved Aunt Angie.* * * *It was feeding time for the animals and Allen had made arrangements to be there on thefarm this weekend. Uncle Timmy always let Allen drive the tractor. They would load hay andfeed on a trailer and pull it behind the tractor out into the field and deliver the feed to the cows.This was the highlight of the day for Allen.Uncle Timmy and Allen road out through the lower field to feed the cattle. “Just pull ’er upover there, Wildhair,” said uncle Timmy, as he jumped up on the trailer to dispense the hay andfeed. The cows crowded in close around the trailer in anticipation of the food. Uncle Timmybroke the bails of hay, pitched it on the ground, and poured the feed into a trough. The cattle ateheartily in anticipation of having their fill of the usual fare. Allen sat on the tractor and watchedin admiration of uncle Timmy. Allen thought that there wasn’t anything that Uncle Timmy didn’tknow how to do - whatever the problem was, uncle Timmy could fix it.“That’ll do ’er, Wildhair. Lets head on back to the barn.” said Uncle Timmy. Allen pushed inthe clutch, put the tractor in gear, and the tractor lurched forward. Uncle Timmy sat in the middleof the empty trailer and chuckled at Wildhair as they road back to the barn. “Youngin thinks he’sreally something, driving the tractor.” thought Uncle Timmy. Uncle Timmy considered Allen asthe son he never had. He loved him very much.“So wacha doin’ there Wildhair?“ uncle Timmy asked as he watched Allen throwing rocks ata tin can next to the barn.“Nothin’. . .” replied Allen, “ just throwin’ rocks.”“What chu need is a slingshot, there Wildhair! Come on over here and I‘ll show you how tomake one.” Allen followed Uncle Timmy over to a small tree growing at the edge of the field thehorses were in. Uncle Timmy took out his pocket knife and cut off a small limb about a half inchin diameter. He cut it into a Y shape, the bottom of which was just right to hold in your hand.“Come on in to the barn and I’ll get some rubber bands and a piece of leather and show you howit’s done.” Timmy fastened the rubber bands to the two forks of the slingshot with the leather pouch in the middle.
 
He picked up a small stone, placed it in the leather pouch, pulled back and released thestone; it hit the side of the weathered, grey, barn with a thud. “Here,” he said as he handed theslingshot to Allen, “You try it. . . See if you can hit that tin can. . .” Allen picked up a small rock,aimed at the rusty tin can, and hit it on the first try. “You’re a natural at that slingshot thereWildhair. . . See them sparrows on that electric line up there; see if you can hit one. . .”Allen fired several small rocks at the various birds that landed near by, but couldn’t hit one.They were just too far away he figured.“Here, let me try to hit one,” said Timmy, as he fired a rock at a small sparrow on the fencepost. He missed. “Dog gone,” he said as he took aim one more time. . . This time he hit the birddead on and it fell to the ground.“Ya got ’im,” yelled Allen, “Ya got ‘im!“ Allen ran over to where the bird lay on the ground.He picked it up and it’s head fell lifelessly to one side. The bird was soft, warm, and limber in hishand. It was still breathing. Blood ran from the birds’ beak, it took several breaths and allmovement of its’ body stopped. It was dead. Allen had a newly found skill for which he couldaspire . . . Anything to be like Uncle Timmy.* * * * Several weeks passed and Allen spent his time away from school practicing with hisslingshot; he became quite adroit at killing birds - usually hit them on the first shot. He was athis Grandmothers house on one particular weekend when he decided he would show hisgrandmother his new skill.“Come on outside Grandma, I want to show you something.”“What do you want to show me, Allen?” asked his Grandmother.“I want to show you how good I am with my slingshot,” he replied.“Well, alright. Just give me a few minutes to finish washing these dishes and I‘ll be rightout.”Allen left the kitchen and went through the utility room to the back porch and sat down towait for his Grandmother. The air was chilly, with a slight breeze. There were a number of birdsin the surrounding trees and even a couple of squirrels playing on the lawn out at the end of theyard. After a brief time, Allen’s grandmother came out side. She had a container of seed in her hands and proceeded to fill the bird feeder.“So what did you want to show me, Allen?”Allen had a pocket full of small rocks and pulled one out and got ready to demonstrate hisaccuracy.“Watch this Grandma.”He zeroed in on a sparrow sitting on the feeder, took aim, released the stone and hit thebird, knocking it to the ground. “What do ya think of that Grandma?”“My goodness no!” she yelled. “You can’t kill my birds. . . Why that’s just terrible! Give methat thing right now!” She took the slingshot and headed back into the house, with Allenfollowing close behind.
 
“You’re certainly not going to do that to my birds . . . “ She removed a pair of scissors fromthe kitchen counter and cut the rubber bands into small pieces. “There!” she yelled, “I won’tstand for that, do you hear me?” She returned to the utility room and got a pair of pruning shearsand cut the slingshot into pieces and threw them in to the trash.“Now you march yourself into that living room and sit down on the couch and wait till I figureout what punishment to give you. . .Go on now!”“But Grandma, Uncle Timmy made that for me. He showed me how to shoot it, and he saidthat there was nothin’ wrong with shootin’ the birds.”“I don’t care what Uncle Timmy said, killin’ birds with that thing is just wrong! And I‘m goingto have a talk with your Uncle Timmy too!” Furious did not even begin to describe hisGrandmother’s anger. “You just wait till your grandfather gets home; I’m sure he’ll have plenty tosay about this!” Allen sat on the couch and a tear rolled down his cheek. “Not grandpa. Please,not grandpa!” he thought.* * * *Mr. Rickenbacker, Allen’s grandfather, was a tall man, thin build, with gaunt cheeks, and jetblack hair, combed straight back over his head. A carpenter by trade, he was a kind and gentlesoul, but didn’t accept behavior other than what he deemed appropriate, and “The way thingswere supposed to be,“ from his children and grandchildren. He wasn’t an overly religious manbut he had a strong sense of the difference between wrong and right.Allen was sure his grandfather would be angry with him for killing the bird, especially after the way his grandmother had reacted. He waited for him to arrive home from work with worriedanticipation. It was 4:30 and he’d be home soon. He had dried his tearful eyes and hadresolved himself to the fact that he was going to be punished and he’d just have to take whatever the punishment was.Jeopardy was on TV; he watched the show, glancing now and then into the kitchen to seewhat his grandmother was doing. The noise of his grandfather’s car was in the driveway; heheard the back door open and he could hear his grandmother talking to his grandfather, but hecouldn’t overhear what was being said. After a few minutes, grandpa came into the living roomand sat beside Allen.“So. . . How was your day, Allen?” his grandfather asked.“Well, it was pretty good for a while, but then this afternoon, I got in trouble with Grandmafor killin‘ one of her birds. . .”“That’s what she said. . . Why did you kill it?”“Uncle Timmy said that there wasn’t nothin’ wrong with killin’ birds. There was so many of them that it just didn’t make any difference . . . He said they was a nuisance anyway.”“Well I suppose that there are a lot of them, but that‘s no reason to kill them. . . Look, if your were out in the wilderness and you were lost and didn‘t have anything to eat, and you had your slingshot, and you needed something to eat to survive, then it would be ok to kill a bird, or ananimal.Have you ever heard the word dominion? Well probably not. It just means to be in control of something. We have dominion over the birds and animals on the earth. The only reason to killanimals is to have something to eat. Uncle Timmy likes to hunt, and he does, all the time, so Iguess he is so use to it that it doesn’t bother him to kill animals; after all, he raises cattle and pigs

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