Come to think of it, I really don't know how it was that my parents allowed me to own a BB gun. I'm sure I asked as frequently as the gospel's persistent widow, made myself a royal ten-year-old pain. Everyone else had one, I'm sure, a point with which I'm sure I blasted them often.
The BB gun I found in the barn yesterday is the same model--wooden stock, bluish barrel, a little useless ring clattering along the magazine. I hauled it out, cleaned it up, oiled the metal parts and even polished the wood, where it introduces itself with the words "Red Ryder" elegantly carved into the thick of the stock.
I went to the hardware store to buy BBs. "How many?" the young lady asked. "You mean you can buy them in bulk?" I said. "I haven't bought BBs for fifty years."
Carrying that old BB gun turned me into a killer--at least I thought seriously about it, sputzies at least. I lugged it out to the river, dropped some of those silver BBs in and pumped the thing. Air burst out just like it should, but no BB. Again. Nope. Again. Nope. Again. Nope.
I carried that impotent thing back to the barn and took off the wooden handle, unscrewed the mechanism inside, looked it over as if I wasn't a doofus, then screwed it back in, hoping for a miracle. I dropped a half dozen BBs, cocked the old guy once more, and it spit air proudly, but no BB. Thing didn't work.
So I did the unthinkable. I dropped a single BB right down the barrel, cocked ye olde Daisy, shot it, and that little steel marble smacked off the steel roof of the shed. It worked.
I guess that makes it a single shot. From what I felt in my veins when lugging that thing out to the river, maybe that's a blessing.
This morning, as we speak, the finches are hungry and putting on a show.