Double whammy

Boy, oh boy, was the weekend of April 29 a busy one for me. It all started off on the Friday as I puttered around, sorting and selecting the boxes, crates, cages, wherewithal, and accessories that I was going to need to transport and display all the 70 or more bantam birds that I was going to take to this spring’s Saugeen Valley Fur & Feather Fanciers Association’s Buy, Sell, Trade Day at the fairgrounds in Mount Forest. 

As my years have crept up, I have learned to start early and pace myself whenever I have quite a number of things to do with a given deadline. So when cars drive in, it is not unusual for whomever to find me wherever uncomfortably sprawled in one of those Godforsaken moulded plastic chairs that we have so positioned randomly handy. Uncomfortably slippery as they are, it is not unusual for me to shut my eyes and doze for a while.

Such was so about mid-afternoon; when I opened my eyes there was a vehicle parked there that had not been when I sat down untold minutes earlier. Sitting in the barn on a greenish bale of second-cut hay, watching the young goats at play, was a neighbour from about as far away east of the town as we are west. Avoiding usual salutations, he stroked his goatee a time or two and asked, “What are you doing tomorrow?

Tomorrow being the Saturday and the Buy, Sell, Trade Day not until Sunday, I grunted, “Nothin’.” It was then that he went on to say that he was going to the Manito Shrine Club annual turkey shoot and fundraising wheel spin. Did I want to come along?

Not having ever been to a turkey shoot anywhere, how could I say no? So at nine the next morning, I crawled into his van and away we went up over the Blue Mountain in the direction of the Collingwood area. What a beautiful stretch of country that is. I had travelled it before when the leaves were in colour in the fall, but never before in the spring, with the yet unopened leaves not hiding the many little hills, rills, and valleys, with their pockets of snow that you don’t see in the fall.

 At the site, I heard bang, bang, bang about every three minutes. Those humongous bangs were from shotguns being aimed at a long line of stakes placed about three feet apart. At the top of each was a circle that held a sheet of paper that represented the make-believe turkey’s head. The number of shotgun pellets that penetrates the circle of paper is the score keeping tally. The more the merrier, and a store-bought, properly processed turkey was yours if your count was within the winning circle.

I don’t have the heart or even the shoulder stamina of a shotgun’s kick to shoot even a paper turkey, but they were having fun, so I wandered in to try my luck at the wheel. There Lady Luck or my Guardian Angel was with me – at the second spin of the wheel, having the lowest number, I won, and took home with me, from a very nice, pork, beef, and turkey selection, a large beef roast. You should have seen it being thinly sliced on our Sunday evening table. Burp.

Take care, ‘cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins