Friday, August 24, 2007

Coon Kits 'N Tits

Warning: hunting story to follow. I am not a hunter, nor is Kman nowadays. We prefer a camera to a gun. But, we grew up knowing how to hunt anything from doves to deer. I never shot a gun at an animal and usually got the chore of shagging back dead birds or gathering up spent shells from the field.

Laris (pronounced "Larz" by most folks in our neck of the woods) Burnett was a friend of Kman's many years ago when he lived down in Marble Falls. Laris himself was from the fine big town of Smithwick, population about sixty on a good week. His brother, Linville, who had a gift for words, became a preacher for a Church of Christ somewhere close to Austin in later years. A big strappin' country boy, Laris played football in high school and wooed the girls with his curly black locks and affable easy-goin' personality. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, Laris once dated two cousins, thinking he could surely pull off the subterfuge without a sweat. He reckoned wrong on that account - never a good idea to date related women, and 'specially risky in a small town. Them she-cats teamed up on him and he got to put those old football runnin' skills to good use.

In our hall of fame,
There's a statue with my name.
There we stand, by heck,
Lincoln, Washington and Wreck.
’Cause I could pass that football
LIKE NOTHIN’ YOU HAVE EVER SEEN!

After football season in the fall, Friday nights can get long and boring in Smalltown, Texas (unless you're tag datin' cousins). Varmint huntin' is a favorite pasttime and Laris knew all the best places for coons and the like. He didn't necessarily get permission from the landowners, but he figured fences were just for keepin' cattle in.
I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can't look at hobbles and I can't stand fences
Don't fence me in.
No.
Poppa, don't you fence me in.

One full moon night Laris had gathered up some friends, including Kman, his brother, and their cousin, Lonnie. Cousin's wife had pestered and pestered them on previous hunts to let her come along, and she finally won out with admonishments from the hunters to keep quiet and stay out of the way.

If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.


They all set out in Laris' truck, Kman's brother driving with Cousin's wife ridin' shotgun, and the rest of the guys in the bed of the truck with the cooler of mandatory beer and a homemade holding cage for whatever critters they might find (with the exception of a pole cat - you learn to leave those county kitties alone.)

Take a whiff on me, that ain't no rose!
Roll up yer window and hold yer nose
You don't have to look and you don't have to see
'Cause you can feel it in your olfactory

Most times, varmint hunters use "callers" when hunting at night. My dad could cup his hands just so to produce the perfect call; makes the sound of a wounded rabbit or fawn and draws in bobcats, coyotes, or foxes and scares the beejeebers outta silly little girls at a slumber party (another story, another time). You don't use a predator call, though, for coon hunting which is usually done with trained dogs, but you can also just "spotlight" up into trees near creeks or riverbanks. Sure is eerie to see eyes glowing back at you in the dark of night.

Which is exactly what those hunters did that night using the high beams on the truck headlights. Laris shot down a fat raccoon from a low tree branch and grabbing the coon by the tail, he hollered for the guys to "open 'er up", and with a skilled windmilled wind-up, slung the animal into the critter cage.

Now, Laris's truck had one of those rear windows on the cab that slid open like the drive-thru window at the DQ, and it was open that night for conversation and refreshment passing. The varmint cage was tethered up snug against the cab on one side.

Bouncing along the back pasture, no one noticed that the big coon Laris shot had a young kit clinging to it. The cage wire was just large enough for the little feller to squeeze through and out he went....

Now, ya'll get this picture:

...right into the cab of the truck, over Cousin's wife's shoulder and straight down the neck of her well-filled out sweater. Forget about needing any kind of Burnham Brothers Black Magic varmint caller - her screams and moans would have called up every coyote in ten counties.

On Saturday night they need some excitement
Jane gets right and the monkey gets tight
And their voices unite in the pale moonlight
And it sounds all right, yeah, it's dynamite, it's out of sight

Boogity, boogity, boogity. Modesty goes to hell when your tender bosoms are being ravaged by a frightened wild animal; sweater, bra, hide, hair and all came loose in that truck cab.

Knock him out, John!

 
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Eventually, the little coon kit relinquished his choke-hold of her chest, shot down between her knees, scrabbled up the floorboard and wedged himself up under the dashboard. You could have come nearer to pryin' open a fresh oyster with your bare hands than you could gettin' that baby coon from out of that dashboard.

Needless to say, as soon as Kman's brother managed to stop the truck, Cousin's wife vacated the cab, reclaimed her clothing, and rode far back in the truck bed next to the tailgate the rest of the way home. There was nary a snicker to be heard. Long trip it was, too. Texas boys know that even a riled rattlesnake don't hold a light to a pissed-off woman who'd just had her personal space violated by a furry wild animal.

Kman said it broke her of suckin' eggs, she never asked to go with the boys varmint huntin' ever again.

Darn shame, Kman said, 'cuz it was the most fun he'd had...in a coon's age.

6 comments:

bill said...

Great story

DarkoV said...

I'm with Bill. Great story. Fabulous word-wrapping on your part as we went through the layers of lyrics, wit, and judiciously laid out "Texan" verbiage to get to the gritty sand mote that started this whole piece out.

This is a keeper, CP!

Elisson said...

Texas tale tellin' at its finest. Kits and tits, indeed.

Cowtown Pattie said...

Thanks, fellas!

The best stories are the true ones...with just a tad more tabasco on top for flavor.

Trace said...

Sam and I both loved this one!!

kokopelliwoman said...

Wonderful story, Pattie! Like you, I was "taken" hunting with my dad when I was growing up. Never shot anything, but I learned how to field dress everything from quail to deer.

I've seen some of your comments on TGB and am enjoying checking out Ronni's elderblog list. Very cool! I'll be back to visit often :)