I was maybe 11 or 12 years old and summer fun for me usually meant spending my spare time hunting sparrows. I had bought an old Daisy B-B gun from a neighbor kid earlier for three dollars. I had saved the money I had made by selling pop bottles I had collected.
Behind my old neighborhood ran a river which which was where I did most of my hunting. On the same side of the river bank sat a neighbors old chicken pen, with some chicken coops and another pen that had turkeys in it. Since the sparrows I was hunting had became wary of my perusing them, I needed to find a way to spot them before they saw me. Upstream a bit was a big old cottonwood tree so I figured it would be a good place to hunt from.
I climbed into the scraggly old branches and found a good place to sit hidden behind the foliage where I could wait for the birds to reappear. While I was setting there, a couple of what I would call scruffy migrants came walking down the river bank toward me. These two guys stopped under me and started talking about getting into the pen and grabbing a couple chickens.
After looking at the woven wire fence along the backside of the pen, they decided that the wire was pretty loose and it could be easily picked up with their bare hands. So they walked over to the wire and pulled it up just enough for one of them to start to crawl under. It was after he had crawled about half way under the wire that I carefully took aim at his behind and pulled the trigger.
When it hit him, he violently reared up trapping his shirt and his partners fingers in the woven wire fence. The shot one started hollering about a bee stinging him in the butt and his partner screeched in pain about his fingers being caught in the wire. All of the noise caused the chickens to panic and they started to frantically run around squawking.
This caused the turkeys in the next pen to start running around gobbling, all that noise woke up old Bosco, the neighbors dog. The dog barking alerted the neighbor who was working in a tool shed around the corner from the chicken coop. Stepping out, he spotted the two idiots who were still caught in the fence. That old man ran out tearing around the corner of the coop and headed for the fence waving a hammer.
The two would be chicken thieves suddenly tore loose from the fence and ran off the other way down the bank of the river. I thought the old man would turn the dog loose on them, but he didn’t.
I stayed up in the tree for a long time afterword because I knew about that old man. I had learned long ago he was quite mean. If that dog saw me he would start barking again, and I would be in big trouble. Besides I was still excited about all of had happened. Mom would have really been mad that I was hunting birds and even more disturbed if I told her I shot someone, she never found out.