Gun in a Straw Stack
Edited by Anne Goddard
Copyright 2020 by Lew Goddard
was nine going on ten just before Christmas. The break meant that he
would have almost two weeks away from school. School was something
that he couldnít avoid and actually he didnít mind
attending. Gifts had become virtually routine and it didnít
prompt any excitement with him. A pair of jeans, a new shirt, an
orange, a few unshelled peanuts and that was all there was at his
house. In the afternoon his parents would rest in their bedroom and
he was told to stay away from friends or family because they were
having their celebrations and donít interfere. That left very
little for a healthy boy who relished in activity.
year was a little different. In one of three stores on Main Street he
had noted a particular and exceptional cap gun. He believed it was
fashioned after the Luger that he had heard about
used by the enemy in the Second World War. The whole country had been
ecstatic earlier this year that fighting in far off places had come
to an end. Instead of hearing how many more soldiers were killed that
day or week, they were coming home in person. In his small town he
recognized and remembered a number of them. They told stories of
these places to the utter amazement of the youngsters.
just have to have that gun he thought to himself. It was so different
than the six shooters that he read about in books borrowed from the
library. The only real firearms that he had seen was a single shot
Cooey model 22 calibre rifle that his Dad had hidden away somewhere.
This gun he wanted had a round shiny barrel about four inches long.
The handle was black and also shiny but it fit into his hand so
nicely. To place caps in for firing the hammer was spring loaded and
had to be drawn back with a thumb and when the trigger was pulled it
snapped the cap exhibiting a realistic sound of a shot. In addition,
it was all hard metal.
at first he told his Mother about the gun. Of course, she said that
they didnít have enough money to spend on extravagant things.
When he was with his Dad, he asked him if he ever wanted to have a
gun when he was small like him. His Dad said that the only gun that
he ever had was a rifle in the First Word War... Even then he said he
never fired it because he worked on the railroad for four years
keeping supply lines open. Of course, he still had the small rifle
somewhere on the premises.
he became more aggressive. He told his parents that he would do
without jeans this Christmas. He would do his chores without
complaint. He would stack the firewood in the wood shed. Please was a
parents said that he wouldnít likely receive the gun for
Christmas because they didnít have enough money.
the dreary day arrived and there was the usual items all neatly
folded in their brand new packages. But ---- this year there was a
small cardboard box about eight inches long, an inch thick by about
three inches across. Could it be? Yes, it was the gun that he had
needed so much.
ran and picked up his hand made leather holster that he had made from
a pair of his Dadís worn out gloves. He placed the gun in the
holster but it didnít fit very well. With a pair of his Dadís
pliers, a needle from his Motherís sewing basket and some black
thread he re-fashioned the holster so that the gun slid in and out
cleanly. It was then fastened to his belt at his right hand.
didnít practice his fast draw because that was only when he
used a six shooter. This gun was to be partially hidden but ready in
case he encountered an enemy. He could hardly wait to show his
cousins and the other guys he went to school with.
farmer a half mile south of town had a straw stack out in the field.
What better place to play for boys who had nothing else to do.
Tunnels and caverns were eroded and fortunately no one thought to
have a fire to keep warm. They werenít cold when bundled up in
long underwear, parka over top and moccasins on their feet. Out of
the wind it was rather comfy in the caves. Of course the day after
Christmas everything was back to normal and the boys were at the
was leaving with the others but discovered he had a real problem. The
gun was gone!
body pitched in and searched the caverns for his gun. Talk about a
needle in a haystack, it was equally difficult to find a gun in the
straw due to the boys movements and the unstable infrastructure.
went back several times and came away empty handed.
should he do? His parents had gifted him with something that he
pleaded for and they trusted him to look after it.
than endure the wrath of his parents for losing the gun, he developed
was to visit the store where he had seen the gun before Christmas.
Indeed there were still a few on the shelf.
next action was going to be difficult.
a number of visits, he decided to carry out the rest of his plan.
carefully as he stood by the counter where the gleaming guns were
being stored, he reached for one and quickly put in his pants pocket
and walked out of the store.
is a true story. I have never stolen anything else in my life!
donít remember if I ever told my parents or siblings.
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
Lew's story list and biography
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