|18 Time on The Line||Dec. 15, 1997|
with you at all times when you go to the tickle. You better be careful. I dont want you getting yourself shot."
And then he gave me an old l2 gauge single shot gun that needed cleaning - lots of cleaning. I did clean that gun, over and over. I cleaned it even when it didn't need cleaning. I would be cleaning it late at night when my mother said it was time for bed. Then to bed I would go with my very own Duck Licence under my pillow, my gun cleaning kit under my bed, my orange vest and cap in the closet and my gun hung on the waIl above my bed. Christmas break finally came and I had hunting to do. More than for any other reason I had to show my father that I was a good hunter; a hunter that was a "good shot" and a hunter who could bring ducks home for the dinner table.
I would rise early on those mornings leading up to Christmas Day to make the 2-mile track to the tickle, walking a path that took me over hill, through woods, across bog and finally along the shoreline. Along the shoreline was the best because sometimes a single duck could be found there. If it swam close to shore a good hunter would secure a tasty dish for Sunday dinner.
Unfortunately, I wasn't lucky enough to "bag a duck" on those excursions to the tickle - not yet. Our family was a family with a lot of traditions. One such tradition was to have a duck for Christmas dinner. My father being a good hunter was able to provide a duck each year without failure. This Christmas, however, would be different. This Christmas there would not be a Christmas duck. My father, who went hunting almost every day couldn't find one. He had gotten lots of turrs but it wouldnt be the same. Not having a duck for Christmas dinner would mean the end of a tradition, a tradition that he was able to maintain for many years.
It was now just a couple days before Christmas. My father was unable to go hunting on this day for he was busy preparing the nativity scene for the Christmas Day service in church. So, I got ready to go. I got my gun, some cartridges and my floating jigger and off hunting for ducks I went.
I walked for about a mile along the shoreline but saw no sign of a stray duck.. Then I came to a small cove called Lions Den. Two ducks, swimming around near the mouth of this cove caught my eye. They were more than a gunshot away and I felt saddened that I would not get a shot at them. I decided that the best thing to do would be to hide behind
Continued page nineteen...