Gun in a Straw Stack

Lew Goddard

Edited by Anne Goddard

© Copyright 2020 by Lew Goddard

Photo of a lugar cap pistol.

He 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.

This 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 that was 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.

I 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.

Subtly 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.

Then 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 common word.

Both parents said that he wouldnít likely receive the gun for Christmas because they didnít have enough money.

Well, 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.

He 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.

He 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.

A 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 straw stack.

He was leaving with the others but discovered he had a real problem. The gun was gone!

Every 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.

He went back several times and came away empty handed.

What should he do? His parents had gifted him with something that he pleaded for and they trusted him to look after it.

Rather than endure the wrath of his parents for losing the gun, he developed a plan.

First was to visit the store where he had seen the gun before Christmas. Indeed there were still a few on the shelf.

The next action was going to be difficult.

After a number of visits, he decided to carry out the rest of his plan.

Watching 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.


This is a true story. I have never stolen anything else in my life!

I donít remember if I ever told my parents or siblings.

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