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> Issue 32 > Page 15 - Bill Daye: Stories for Susie

Page 15 - Bill Daye: Stories for Susie

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/8/1 (268 reads)

I went into his house--he was living alone at the time--he was never married. I went into his house. "Hi, Bill, where are you?" "I was out in the woods. Were you out to? day?" He never answered. After awhile he said, "Did you get any rabbits?" I said, "No, I didn't get any rabbits today, they couldn't have run last night." So he said, "Listen. Halfway along your snares there's a big juniper tree," he said, "and up on the second branch you will find all your rabbits." He said, "I put them there where the weasels or owls wouldn't get at them. I didn't know if you would be coming out." Well, I began to laugh. I said, "Leo--I'll tell you where your sleigh runners are." Well, we certainly had a good laugh after that, and a damn good drink. I was given a big monster of a moosehead one time to mount, when I was in the taxi? dermy business. Well the business then, the lessons that you would get by mail in books, it was old-fashioned stuff for those who could not have the machinery and the stuff to do it the proper way. First you put the skull on a long 2x4 stick, and you put a shield, like an overpiece, at the base of the neck, and you put the skull on, so you have a form to wrap on. You're supposed to wrap that up with excel? sior and string to form the muscles of the neck. Well, it was quite a big thing. My mother had just washed a couple of nice hooked mats, and they were hanging out on the fence. She'd had them quite awhile. They were almost dry. Well, I said to my? self, the first thing I will do--I haven't material to start filling this in--so I took the mat. I wrapped it around the neck, and it was wet, damp. She wouldn't miss one out of the bunch that she had. And on top of that, I wound excelsior, excelsior, excelsior, and string, till I got the thing built about what I thought would be the size of the neck. Then you put pot? ter's clay over that. Red clay--used to get it down at the shore--there was lots of it. So I start plastering on the clay, plastering on the clay, putting it on. I would try that big tanned skin on--my god, it would still be loose. More clay, more clay. So at last I got it that the skin would meet at the back of the neck so I could sew it up. Well I sewed it up and I put the skin on and I fixed up the face and put the eyes in. Well my god, it was heavy! I put it in the house. I had a great big bolt, a heavy big spike in the wall to support it up where it would dry. So when the time came, the man that shot the moose, a shoemaker, came after it to take it home. I was not at home, my wife was home. She told me the experience. The man that owned the moose got underneath it to take it off the wall, to support it till he could get it down. When he took it off the nail, down goes the shoemaker on the floor, with the moosehead on top of him. It must have weighed 75 pounds, and he didn't expect that weight. So my mother was always looking for the mat, she never knew where it went. And be? sides that, the shoemaker asked me, "What in the hell did you ever put in that moose?" He said, "It wasn't so heavy when it was alive," he said, "after you had mounted it!". Here is another little thing, kind of hum? orous. My poor wife had a stroke, and it was my responsibility to look after her medically, and to do the cooking and other burdens that go along with a job like that. So all the things I used to cook didn't turn out too good. So I said, only one way to get it, get down on your knees and pray to God to give you a hand. So I wrote this little poem, "So Help Me God": "Look down on me, oh God above,/ I'm just a common sinner./ So help me God, I do not know/ How I should cook that dinner./ We had so much of this and that/ Burned up and boiled over,/ Then hashed and smashed, turned into trash--/ Dear God, please think it over./ Food from a can. Stuck to the pan,/ Strong-smelling, greasy fla? vour,/ Salt as the sea, tough as could be/ And not a bit of savour./ The dog gets most of what I cook,/ That's why we have no dinner./ Now he is big, so fat and plump,/ While we are getting thinner./ And now, dear God, I'm sick a-bed,/ My stomach throbbing, beating,/ I'm all upset, half cuckoo now--/ It's caused from what we're eating./ I cannot cook the food required/ So that we both should eat./ Now if you help me please, dear God,/ The problem Corner Charlotte St. & Townsend St. Ski Loft Sydney featuring: Woolrich - Spring and Summer Clothing also available: a fall wool-lined Mt. Parka jacket Tom Taylor sailing wear Deck Paws: canvas shoes and moccasins and rubber boots New Balance Hiking Shoes Phone 539-7165 Treasure Cove Gifts and Handcrafts TOYS WOCLENS LEATHER GOODS TARTANS Phone 564-8158 (15)
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