Vol. 15


Bull’s Eye

c.1952; Dayton, Tennessee, USA

One summer day in the early 1950s, in my hometown of Dayton, Tennessee, my brother Ronnie and I were in our front yard. I had four other brothers, but I was closest in age to Ronnie. I was six, and he was seven. The two of us played together all the time.

On this day we made a makeshift bow, three arrows, and a small target that we nailed to a tree. We found sticks and sharpened them with a knife to make the arrows. I shot first and then ran to get the arrows for Ronnie.

Ronnie’s turn was next. When I thought he was finished, I ran to get his arrows. But I looked back and saw he still had one arrow. He had it nocked and ready to shoot. He let go and the arrow zoomed toward the target. A gust of wind blew it off course, and the arrow sailed right at me and lodged in my left eye. I was shocked. The arrow fell out, and I slapped my hand to my face.

“Ronnie, you shot my eye out!” I tried to open my eye — but it hurt like fire. The pain faded away, but I couldn’t see out of my left eye. I rushed into the house and shakily took my hand off my face.

I found my mom in the kitchen. “Ronnie shot me in the eye!” I yelled.

Mom tried to keep me calm while she called my dad at work and he came home to help. My parents took me to the eye doctor right away. I wondered if I would ever see out of my left eye again.

The doctors performed surgery to save my eye, but the nerves were dead. I made several trips back to the doctor, but there was no hope. I was blind in that eye.

I adjusted to having only one eye, and I played sports. I played every sport! My friends at school didn’t abandon me, though occasionally they would laugh and make fun of my eye. For some reason I always thought, “I’m special. I have one eye, and they don’t.”

If you’re not used to seeing out of two eyes and instead have only one, you adjust. As I got older, there were other activities I tried, and I didn’t think about not having two eyes. For example, I rode motorcycles. I had a fear of flying, so I took flying lessons. After a while I even got my pilot’s license, though I am not allowed to fly a commercial plane because of my disability.

I never let my one eye get in the way of what I wanted to do. And now, over sixty years later, I’ve forgiven my brother and am grateful for all the things I’ve done with only one eye.

Benny Bierman, grandson of the narrator; Missouri, USA



This copyrighted story may be copied and/or printed for limited classroom or personal use. To reprint this story in an article about The Grannie Annie, please contact The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration for permission.


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