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The Unabridged 12 Days of Christmas

The Unabridged 12 Days of Christmas

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Published by Danny Greenlee
A Christmas Story.
A Christmas Story.

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Published by: Danny Greenlee on Aug 25, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/30/2012

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The Twelve Days of Christmas
 
By Danny Greenlee
 
[ Day 1 ]
 It was Doce's first day of winter vacation and while all the other boys wereout supplementing their Christmas lists Doce's father had other plans."But Dad, all the other boys are going to the store, and, well....""Well whut?" Doce's father challenged."It's just that, well, just that I don't really like hunting," Doce stammered."Boy, women shop.
Men
hunt. Which one are ya Doce?" The answer seemed like it should be obvious, but it wasn't. Doce was not yeta man and not still a boy. He was twelve years old, straddling the fencebetween boyhood and manhood, trudging through the deep Wisconsin snowwith a 12-gauge Winchester shifting uncertainly between the tractionlesswool mittens his mother knit him the Christmas before."Dad, we've been walking all day. Can we go home if we don't find any inanother hour?" Doce pleaded."No we cannot Doce," his father rejected, and after a pause, "I think'rproblem is that every God damn son of a bitch and......er, I mean...... Everygosh darn son of a bitch and his brother hunts this same land. We need sumfresh terrain, that's all. Let's go this way."Half an hour was spent weaving between evergreens before they reached acrimson wooden fence that Doce recognized."Here we are," Doce's father announced majestically."This is Farmer Bruce's land Dad,
we
 
can't 
hunt here can we?""Sure we can boy, so long as we're quiet about it," Doce's father said,
 
nodding in agreement with himself. And turning to Doce he asked "We havea deal?" with a smile and a history of confusing deals with commands.Doce said nothing and the two of them tiptoed through the frozen fruitlessfarm for another hour."I see one!" Doce's father hollered and trailed with a "Shhhhhh."Doce imitated his father's creep towards the barren pear tree thatoverlooked Farmer Bruce's back porch and as they got closer Doce's fatherwhispered, "Kay, now, that thing's gonna take off soon as it sees us comin' n'we gotta shoot soon as it does."But, we'll hit the house," Doce timidly protested."No knucklehead, shoot the
bird 
," his father whispered disgustedly and aftera pause, "He's lettin'us get awful close," another pause, "Cocky sonuvabitch." The grouse stared fixedly at the two hunters, but never flinched."God damn sitt'n bird," Doce's father said staring up the tree disappointedly."Ya can't shoot these ones.""How come?" Doce asked uninterestedly."Cuz ya hunt for the challunge," Doce's father took a moment to arrange hisexplanation. "What I mean is, ya can go to the market to take food, butwhen ya come out here ya gotta urn it.” – and added the loophole, “But yurryoung enough, should be fine if you shoot it.""I'm not shooting it dad! That bird's not right. You just said so!""C'mon boy, it's yur first kill, ya gotta take it. It's yur first one,it's fine, okay?Deal? First one, it's fine." Doce's father rambled assuredly. "I'll make'nanimal noise 'fter the shot, so it jus'sounds like sum animal out here knock'nover branches."Doce backed up a few steps and raised the Winchester to his face. He wasaimed at the bird with both eyes open, but after a few moments he closedhis eyes, lowered his gun, and head bowed he waited for his father to scoldhim. When the scolding didn't come he knew something was wrong. He liftedhis head and opened his eyes to discover his father marching towards thetree.
 
"Dad, you can't!" Doce cried out.Doce's father never looked back. He placed his left hand against the tree forstability and got on his tiptoes, his shotgun wobbling high in the air from hisoutstretched arm, looking no more mischievous than a boy trying to fish atennis ball out of a gutter. When he was all lined up and the idle bird's headrested gently against the gun's barrel he pulled the trigger and blew thebird's head off. He was instantly reminded just how unmistakable the soundof a gunshot was, and complimented that sound with a nervous,"Raaaaawwwrrrr"only to discover just how unmistakably human his animalsounds were. He looked at Doce with a giddy boyish grin and snapped, "Grabit!" and took off towards the fence.Doce was paralyzed for a moment, but the next moment he found himself sprinting towards the edge of the farm with the headless bird in his righthand, the shotgun clutched like a football in the same arm and his left armpumping wildly to compensate for his encumbered right side.
[Day 2]
  The next day was a Sunday and once again Doce was too busy to make aChristmas list, for Doce had a deal with his father that every Sunday theywould watch the Packers play."GREEN BAY!" Doce's father bellowed through a thick sea of half-chewednachos."packers," Doce mumbled faintly."Doce, boy, our chant is our duty. We gotta let th' other team know we're outhere," Doce's father swallowed, glaring at his son. "You an' me Doce, youan' me are the twelfth man on that field," and once the opportunity occurredto him he added, "You are a man, ain'tcha boy?""I don't think the other team can hear us through the television," Doceoffered feebly."I've been the, uhh, the twelfth man from this same recliner for, uhh, 14years," Doce's father proclaimed, vexed by the amount of math theproclamation called for. "'N everything rides on
this
game son."

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