Friday, April 10, 2009

Flashback: The squirrel bit me, I’ve got rabies!

Tagging along in the gas truck was the best way my Dad could watch us kids as we grew up. One particular day Matt and I joined Dad on a gas order out to Garry Jardine’s farm. While Dad was unloading the fuel and chatting with Garry, Matt and I went squirrel hunting. We were probably 100-200 yards away in a field. There was a squirrel in the sprinkler pipe. Matt told me to go to one end of the pipe so the squirrel wouldn’t get out and he went to the other end of the pipe with the BB gun. Now anyone that is smarter than two kids eight and ten years old, respectively, is realizing that there is trouble coming. Yes, Matt shot the BB gun into the pipe from his end and the squirrel ran out across my foot. Ironically at the same time I felt this pain in my leg, looked down and blood was gushing out of my lower leg. That squirrel had bitten me! At least that is what my eight year old self thought, the only obvious conclusion. I started screaming: The squirrel bit me, I’ve got rabies! Immediately Matt started running to the house to get my Dad and Garry screaming the same sentiment. This was in the pre-cell phone days, so Marlene Jardine phoned my Mom telling her that I’d been bitten by a squirrel and that we were on our way home, I am sure my Mom was just as perplexed as the rest of us. The whole way home I remember through muddled crying saying: The squirrel bit me, I’ve got rabies! Once home, Nurse Berry cleaned and examined the “bite” only to feel a round ball in my leg. I can still hear Mom saying in that “you are so in trouble I am using your full name” tone: Matthew, did you know you shoot your sister. I’ll be honest, not until that very moment had the thought even crossed my mind that I had been shot. Come on, I was eight and already foolish enough to stand at one end of a sprinkler pipe while my brother shot a gun through the other end so is it really that surprising I’d think that a squirrel bit me in a split second? Matt denied it. Of course my parents at first thought Matt had talked me into lying but while I was quite the dramatic actor when it benefited me as a child I honestly thought a squirrel had bitten me. After a trip to the emergency room and seven people holding me down (I can still remember Susan Sorensen trying to distract me with her button necklace while they were simply trying to numb the area around the wound…yes I am deathly afraid of needles) the BB was removed and now on my right lower leg I have two small scars; the entrance wound and the exit wound or as we joke the marks of one awfully large squirrel bite. Not until one night after Matt and I were both adult and reminiscing over the story did Matt come clean that he knew all along that he had shot me but was too scared to come cleaned to Dad. I’d like to also note that here that getting shot with the BB gun and shooting with the BB gun runs in the Berry family. Kelly Hansen shot Dad in the backside as kids and it is still up in the air who shot their cousin Brent in the eye with the BB gun, Dad or Uncle Rich. Moral of the story: Odds are good you’ll get shot with the BB gun if you hang around the Berry clan long enough.

4 comments:

Deborah said...

What, no picture of the squirrel bite?

Jess said...

This was in the day of no cameras too. ;)

moma berry said...

jess that is sooo...funny. You forgot the look of horror on your Dad's face when he brought you home.

LJ said...

LOL! I will always remember that story. Only in Tetonia. hahaha