My Cousin Jerry

November 22, 2018

Bryce Angell

My grandson squinted down the barrel. His right eye on the sight. I watched him squeeze the trigger, but he couldn’t get it right.

He’d missed the target by a mile. I’m sure I heard him curse. I said, “It’s time to take a break.” Things couldn’t get much worse.

So, I poured two mugs of Country Time. That sure brought on a smile. Then said, “I’ve got a story if you’ll listen for a while.”

I told him back when I was young I’d say ’bout twelve or so. I couldn’t hit the target, didn’t want a soul to know.

But my cousin Jerry knew that I was still a bit gun shy. He’d learned to shoot a rifle even with an injured eye.

That year while we were camping at a local scout event, the rifle range came open. Jerry dragged me from my tent.

The rifle range attendant said, “Each scout will get ten shots.” I was looking for escape. I think I said, “I’ve got the trots.”

But my cousin gave that look at me. So, I fired off my first round. The attendant hollered, “Bull’s eye!” I could’ve swore I hit the ground.

And then he said, “Each man who has a rifle, fire at will!” I emptied out the chamber, never felt a bigger thrill!

The attendant raised my target. Hollered, “Bull’s eye eight of ten.” And then he raised my cousin’s. Said, “You better try again.”

His target never got a scratch. No sign of bullet holes. Cuz his bullets hit my target. He sure was the best of souls.

Now that’s been over fifty years. Since then I learned to shoot. And I’ve kept the target since that day. It means too much to boot.

My grandson said, “You’re full of it,” but gave a giant hug. That’s when I showed the target, then we poured another mug.

Bryce Angell has lived around horses his entire life and is a registered nurse in Idaho Falls.

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