... Of Surviving the Wilderness
Wouldn’t you know it here came Uncle Paul to the rescue. He had invented a light turner on thing-ma-jig. It was two long pieces of wood joined together at the top with a cross bar and a candleholder attached. The cross bar had a slot cut through it.
How it worked was – you raised the bar up to the light, placed the slot over the propane switch, twisted the poles to turn it on and then lit the light with the candle.
Was I impressed that my uncle had invented this? You bet I was! And what did I learn from these two inventions?
We didn’t have electricity at that time and everything was lit with lanterns – including the community hall. One day they installed propane lighting at the hall but there was a problem.
Each light needed to be turned on individually and there was no way to reach the lights on the ceiling in the center of the hall – they were too high for ordinary ladders.
There comes a time in every young man’s life, in the country, when its time to learn how to shoot a gun. That time for me came on an overcast fall day about ten o’clock in the morning. Paul came into the house, took down the .22 rifle and said, “there is a prairie chicken in a tree back by the garage, let’s get our supper”.
So, Paul showed me how to load the shell, how the sights worked and how to hold the gun. First shot – nothing but air. Second shot – nothing but air. “Squeeze the trigger softly so you don’t jerk the gun”. Third shot – ping – I hit a branch. Fourth shot – another branch.
“Maybe if you leaned up against the tree it would help.” Fifth shot – air ball. Sixth shot – branch. Thank heaven the prairie chicken is not one of the brightest birds around. Seventh shot – leaves. Eighth shot – branch.
Expensive Prairie Chicken
“With a little ingenuity and common sense you can solve just about anything!”