Vol. 10


The Not-So-Lucky Shot

February 1959; Belleville, Illinois, USA

It was a brisk February day in Belleville, Illinois, where the temperature had dropped to about 39 degrees. A very innocent ten-year-old boy named Bill Ackermann had received his very first bow and arrow for Christmas in 1958.

Bill was incredibly excited to have obtained the bow — since his neighbor John had one, he’d asked for one himself. The young man had many exciting times with the bow, shooting things outside with his neighbor in 1959. They shot at many things in Bill’s backyard in the wintertime. Bill and John hit targets, such as tin cans, with the bows. They sometimes used BB guns. He didn’t know this, but something disastrous would happen while experimenting with what seemed to be a harmless idea.

There were many birds outside on that cold winter’s day. An American robin, a small bird with a red chest, had arrived on the ground. While Bill was hanging out with John, he suddenly got a plan in mind. This idea was to see how close he could shoot near the bird without actually hitting it. Boy, did he think wrong! Bill placed the arrow in the bowstring and aimed it carefully at the ground. He let it go and . . . BAM! Bill looked at the shot, and his heart suddenly felt a wave of remorse. The boy hadn’t hit the ground; he’d shot the bird.

John glanced over at him and excitedly exclaimed, “That was a great shot!”

Immediately feeling terrible, Bill began to cry. He trudged over to the dead bird and pulled the arrow out. He dug a hole and buried the creature that had accidentally met an early and unfortunate demise. Bill put a crucifix on top of the tomb to give the bird a proper funeral. He was so heartbroken, in fact, that he never went hunting again.

To this day Bill, my grandpa, hasn’t killed another animal. He thinks back to that shot from time to time, and still feels guilty about it. Be careful when you’re using a weapon, even if it’s a toy, because you never know if your lucky shot could end up cutting something’s life short. Even if you don’t have a weapon, your words can have the same effect on people.

Katherine Gaitan; Missouri, USA


This copyrighted story may be copied for limited classroom use or reprinted in an article about The Grannie Annie.


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