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Those Were the Days: The Blue Quail, pt. 3

On our way back home, we were still jawing at one another, when we came to the small town of Lefors, Texas. We decided to stop and get a hamburger at this great cafe on the square. As we entered the cafe, this redheaded waitress came running up and grabbed me in a bear hug. At first, I didn’t recognize her ... but since there were only two redheads I had ever known, I figured it out real quick. One was short ... that was Abigail Braly, the other one was tall ... that was Jeri Archer. So, when she stepped back, I gave her a big smile and said, “Well, howdy, Gail. Long time, no see.”

All the guys were gawking at her and anxious to be introduced. This little gal had grown up since our childhood days, and she was now drop-dead gorgeous. We all sat there filling our bellies on burgers and malts and flirting up a storm. And, of course, the conversation got around to the story about me killing the quail barehanded. Gail even chimed in, “Well, he always did have a great imagination!” I don’t think she believed me either. After saying our good-bye’s, we headed for Ben’s house. Thirty minutes later we were sitting on his deck in the backyard pulling feathers and dividing up the birds.

We had Ben’s portable radio on, listening to those great musical entertainers of the 50’s. Once the birds were clean, we all began cleaning our shotguns when BOOM ... plop. Yep, I had miscounted my shells and there was still one in the chamber. When I pulled the trigger, I shot a BLUE JAY! (Being good hunters, we all knew not to point a gun at anyone. So, when I pulled the trigger the barrel was pointed straight up.) It all happened so fast that no one had time to react ... it just left everyone shocked, speechless, dumbfounded ... until the blue jay landed, dead on the patio. Then everyone started laughing and making wisecracks like: “Gosh-dog, Griff, don’t you think we have enough birds?” “Zeker, when are you going to realize that quail have brown feathers?” “Now he’s gonna be telling everyone he can catch birds with his bare hands or shoot them without even looking ... just pull the trigger!”

Well sir, that memorable Feb.ber day ended with each of us taking his share of the birds and the rest of the guys presenting me with ... what else ... yep, they made me take the blue jay ... which they had re-named ... THE BLUE QUAIL!

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