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Page 14 - Bill Daye: Stories for Susie

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/8/1 (1212 reads)
 

Bill Daye: Stories for Susie A deer out at Framboise that I caught. I was walking down an old path through the woods, and I noticed a deer's face, a doe-- his horns and his head were hidden quite a bit, but I could see his chest. I got a good sight on him and I fired at him. I thought he dropped. When I went up there-- it was about 25 yards away--when I got up there, there was the inside of a deer, the stomach and all the intestines, laying on the path. The deer wasn't there. So I fig? ured somebody had just shot a deer there. But I didn't hear any shot before. So I be? gan examining around, and I see a little dampness and broken grass and fur. So I be? gan following it. I see where he had slid over a big log that was about up waist- high laying sideways, and there was damp, water like on it. So I followed his trail here and there till I came to the river. And here was the deer laying in the river, washed and cleaned and killed with one bul? let. What had happened--when the bullet struck his chest, it stopped spinning a- round. And the jacket had a ragged edge that slid down between his stomach and the inside of his hide and cut right out through the fur, the entire length of the deer. And when he jumped with the shot, his stomach and everything fell out. So that's a strange story. There's another little story here, too, a very strange incident. One time I used to go down around South Bar along the shore for a walk. In the fields back of there, there were all kinds of birds. And I was up through the fields, and this little woodpecker was crawling around, flying a- round in the grass, a little red-headed woodpecker--he had a broken leg. So I picked him up, I took him home. I made splints and put them on his leg. I kept him quite awhile, a few months. I had a hell of a job finding flies and bugs for him all the time. So anyway, I had him, and he got along well. So I took him back to the woods again, in the spot where I found him, and I said. He'll be all right. So a few days after that, I was coming down Broadway--that would be a good quar? ter of a mile, a half a mile from where I had found the bird--I was coming down the street, and this bird dropped in front of me on the street. I picked him up--he was quiet--and here was my woodpecker that I had fixed his leg. He knew me from wherev? er he saw, and he came to me. Later on that summer I was out on a raft, diving and swimming, me and Frank MacKil- lop, out up the shore at South Bar. And this bird struck the raft and fell in the water. Frank grabbed him quick--"I got a bird, I got a bird!" I said,. "Listen, that's my woodpecker." I took him, and it was my woodpecker • However he saw me and recognized me out there with a bathing suit on--he must have known my voice. So I took him again and I took him back to the woods. And I've never encountered him any more. But I never knew that a bird had vis? ion so good, or could remember a person or like a person so much. He appreciated so much what I'd done for him that he became my best friend, as far as birds go. And this thing happened one other time. I was going to go looking at my rabbit snares this morning. And a friend of mine that used to go along with me, he wasn't around that day, so he didn't expect me to come out. So I took off an3rway for this woods, way back, looking at the fox snares and rabbit snares. When I came to the rabbit snares, before I got there, I could see the big snowshoe tracks of my buddy, and big tobacco spits all over the snow, 'cause he used to chew tobacco--I knew it was him. He went straight to my snares. The first snares, the rabbit was taken out. Six or seven rabbits were taken out. So I followed his tracks along, thought I would catch up to him. I didn't find him. So I kept going. I came to another place about a mile away, following his tracks, where he had cut a couple of hardwood runners to make a new sleigh. Well, I said, if he stole my rabbits, which I don't think he did, but he might have, I'll take his run? ners . So I took them and I threw them into a swamp with thick heavy small spruce, where he would never find them. Then I kept following the tracks, and he had come home again. CONTINUED NEXT PAGE-
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