My sister, Debbie, and I had it made. We lived outside Canadian, Texas, in an old farmhouse that Dad was renting. We were way out in the country. Traffic seldom came down the dirt road – but when they did, you could see them coming for miles. We had a bunch of chickens and rabbits we had to watch over — but other than that and a few basic chores, we could do as we pleased. There was a huge yard to play in and miles of fields where we could roam.
This is the first time we had gone to stay with Dad after my grandparents took us in. I think Dad was going through some rough times back then, or maybe he was heartbroken because his wife had left him. Whatever the reason, he was not around much the first five years we were living with our grandparents. He stopped by for a visit now and then, just to make an appearance, I guess. They were his parents after all – he was expected to come around occasionally.
Dad worked on an oilfield drilling rig. He was a derrick man and he worked sixty feet off the ground on a platform they called the tubing board. Because he was six feet six inches tall, he could reach way over his head – which made it easy to latch the elevators when the rig was running stands of pipe in the hole.
Dad was twenty years old when I was born, so he must have been about twenty-five in Canadian. He was very thin, but deceptively strong. In my mind he was Superman. You would never know it by looking at his skinny frame, but he could lift things that no human should be able to lift. I was there. I saw him do it. Huge drums of hydraulic oil were nothing to him. He would just hunker down on the barrel, hug it with his long arms, then lean back and straighten up. That barrel would come off the ground like it weighed only a few pounds. He used to make money doing that – betting guys from work.
All the guys on the crew called him Red. Not surprising, because he had a shock of orange hair, contrasting starkly with his freckled pale skin. His crew came out to our farmhouse quite a bit that summer. They would cook up one or two rabbits on a fire in the back yard, then play horseshoes for hours. I liked to sit and watch them, because occasionally one of them would give me a sip of his beer. Then they would all laugh at me when I made a face.
I do not know if there were any women in Dad’s life back then. I suppose there were, because he was handsome, young, and made good money on the rigs. But if he had a girlfriend, my sister and I were not aware of it. He never brought anyone to the house, other than the guys he worked with.
He was close with his crew. Judging by the stories he told us, it sounded like they had fun at work. Dad was prone to playing pranks whenever the opportunity presented itself and he loved to tell us about them. He had a truckload of stories to tell and every morning he would sit at the kitchen table telling us about his night at work.
My sister and I would listen intently as we carefully arranged the dishes on the table and then served food from the pots. Many a meal was interrupted by our choking laughter as he narrated his Story of the Day.
One story stands out in my mind. I want to share it with you now, because frankly it shows the type of person he was. Also, it is a damn good story. It will be tough to write it with a straight face.
Dad was working the night shift. It was bitter cold on the rig, with the north wind blowing snow and biting into the men. The frigid cold worked its way through any little opening it could find. All the men were dressed in insulated overalls with thick sweaters and pants underneath. Some even had insulated long-johns underneath all that. Whatever it took to stay warm. If you have never experienced the Panhandle region of Texas in the dead of winter, let me tell you – it gets extremely cold there.
Every night, the crew drove to work together. They alternated vehicles and rode together to save money on gas, since it was so far out to the rig. Typically, the drive could take upwards of two hours. So, everyone got a nap – except the driver – on the way there.
Finally, the rig came into view. A bright speck in the distance quickly growing larger and larger as they approached the well-pad. The light plants were running full tilt and the rig was an island of brilliant color in a sea of inky darkness.
As soon as the car came to a stop, the men piled out. Quickly turning their collars up against the biting wind, they scampered up the long stairway to the floor of the rig and the welcoming warmth of the doghouse.
The doghouse was a room next to the rig floor where the crew could take shelter from inclement weather. It was a kind of general-purpose room, located conveniently close to the driller’s controls. The doghouse is where they changed clothes, ate lunch, and relaxed. It was furnished with benches along both walls- littered with the crew’s clothes – and a table positioned in the middle.
The crew quickly changed out of their comfortable “street clothes” and into their work clothes, then stepped out of the warmth of the doghouse and onto the rig floor.
They assembled in a small group. Ready for work. Dad was just about to climb the ladder up to the tubing board when the floor-hand said he had to take a dump. Excuse me for being vulgar. But that is just what he said.
Of course, the crew gave the guy a hard time about it. He should have taken care of business a few minutes ago when he had a lot less clothing to remove. The floor-hand said it would only take a minute.
“I’ll run over there behind the frac tank,” he assured them, “I’ll be back in a jiffy!”
Then he ran down the steps and disappeared into the darkness.
Dad told the driller that he would be right back. Then he grabbed a shovel that he found propped up on the edge of the floor and he ran off into the dark, as well.
Dad told us that he quietly approached the guy, walking silently in the snow. With the wind howling, it was not overly difficult to be stealthy. But he approached carefully, just the same. He crept up close behind just as the floor hand managed to pull his overalls off his shoulders and down past his knees. Dad laughed as he told us how ridiculous the guy looked – squatting down, precariously teetering on unsteady legs.
Dad said he waited until delivery was eminent, then he silently slid the shovel underneath the grunting man. As soon as the load was delivered, Dad quickly withdrew the shovel and hid behind the corner of the water tank. He laid the shovel down next to the tank, careful not to dislodge the prize. He told us that he wanted proof if anyone doubted his story later.
Dad watched as the guy struggled to get his coveralls back over his shoulders and buttoned up against the bitter wind. Then, as the floor hand was about to head back to work, he turned to look behind him. Who knows why? Maybe it is instinctive. I have done it myself, on one of those rare occasions when I had to go really bad and the nearest Porta-John was miles away. In a situation like that, you do what you gotta do. I took care of business behind the nearest bush. And I always looked behind me when I was done. Like I said, instinct maybe.
It was all Dad could do to keep from bursting with laughter as he watched the guy’s reaction. There was nothing lying in the snow. The man squatted down to take a closer look and brushed snow around with his hand. Then he grabbed a stick and vigorously scraped the whole area where he had squatted. But there was nothing.
Dad quickly ran back to the floor of the rig and gathered the crew together. He told them what he had done and as the crew began laughing, he stopped them.
“Wait,” he said, “I’m not done yet.”
“When he comes back,” he instructed, “just act natural.”
Then he grinned that boyish grin of his and added, “But act like you smell shit.”
So that is what the crew did. When the floor-hand came back, the guys all made smart remarks, like “It’s about time!” or another one said, “You need to learn to shit on your own time! It’s time to work now!”
Then the chain-hand said, “What the fuck is that smell?”
They all made a big deal about sniffing the air and looking all around the rig floor. Trying to locate the source of the offending odor. The other guys chimed in, “Yeah! What the fuck is that!!” and “Oh my God, it smells like something died up here!”
While they were carrying on, the floor-hand unobtrusively slipped off the floor and ran into the doghouse. He wasted no time pulling his coveralls down off his shoulders. He struggled with them, but finally worked them down far enough that he could step out of them.
The crew followed him immediately and crowded into the entranceway. They watched silently as he scrutinized every crevice in his clothing. Then they parted, clearing a path for Dad as he stepped through the door. He was holding a shovel out in front of him, presenting it like a prize trophy. The hapless victim was totally engrossed in his inspection task, so he was completely unaware of the guys watching him, or Dad approaching him. Until Dad laid the shovel on the guy’s coveralls right under his nose.
“Looking for this?” Dad asked.
I have no idea what happened after that. Because at that point in the story we would all bust out laughing.
Dad had quite a few stories like that and I loved listening to him.
Because Dad worked the night shift, he slept all day. Which allowed us kids the freedom to do whatever we wanted. And one day, we were walking down the dirt road that goes past our house. We had walked about a mile when we came upon a creek.
That creek is about five feet deep in places and it has lots of fish in it. And turtles. And snakes. There is a bridge over the creek and I hopped up on the guardrail to show my sister how well I could walk a tightrope. Showing off.
“Look at me Sis!” I yelled, “Tight-rope!” I thought I was ready for the circus.
I was doing really well for a while. Almost made it the full length of the bridge. Then without warning, my feet slipped on the rail and down I went.
This story could have easily turned out far different, if Rex had not been with us.
Rex was a huge German Shepherd that Dad had gotten from one of the floor hands on his crew. He weighed about ninety pounds, roughly twice my weight. Rex and I were best of friends. We went everywhere together. So, when I fell off the bridge that day he was right there. Barking furiously at me with his front paws on the rail. Then he turned and barked at Debbie. As she began running towards him, he suddenly leapt over the rail and sailed down to the water fifteen feet below.
I did not see any of that, of course. Debbie told me about it later. I was too busy trying to figure out how to swim. My sister and I had never learned how. Because frankly, it had never come up before.
I was caught in the current, being dragged downstream. Bouncing off boulders, logs, tires, and who knows what all. Sucking in water with every ragged breath. The outcome of the situation was looking mighty grim.
Suddenly, Rex was there. He grabbed my shirt in that huge mouth of his and pulled me towards shore. Then he dragged me completely out of the water and onto the bank.
Debbie ran down, screaming like a banshee. When she got to me, she threw her arms around my neck and held on like she was never going to let go. We both sat there for a bit. Crying. Rex licking my face. I guess it scared the hell out of all three of us.
After that, I was convinced that Rex was the bravest dog in the whole world. I was only five and I hadn’t been around many dogs up to that point, but I was still convinced. I had seen the Rin Tin Tin television show, and the Lassie television show. My buddy Rex was just as brave as either of them. Any day.
Debbie loved to boss me around back then. She was about a year older than me and she felt that it gave her seniority. I guess it did now that I reflect on it. But at the time, I would not have any of that. I bucked her at every turn. That caused us to fight constantly. Real knock-down, drag-out fights.
I was not allowed to hit her, because she was a girl. Dad would have my ass if he caught me hitting her. So, she usually came out ahead in whatever disagreement we were fighting over.
Even though we fought a lot, we were still best friends. We usually spent the entire day together – running around whooping and hollering and having a ball. Just so long we did not wake up Dad. He worked six days a week from six at night to six in the morning and then he would sleep all day. Debbie and I quickly learned the art of creeping silently through the house like a couple of Indians.
Dad was my hero. He was the smartest man I had ever seen. He knew all the secrets of the universe. I did not actually know what a universe was at the time, but you get the idea.
I will never forget the morning he was trying to start his old Studebaker. The engine would not crank – it just made a clicking sound when he pushed the starter. I was helping him peer under the hood, when he turned to me and said, “Son, go in the house and get me some aspirin.”
“Sure Dad,” I said as I jumped down from the fender, “I’ll get ‘em!”
When I returned with the box of aspirin, I was amazed when he started putting them one by one into the car battery. He removed the vent covers and began dropping one aspirin into each hole.
“Whatcha doin,’ Dad?”
“The car has a head-ache,” he said knowingly. As he slammed the hood shut, he continued, “We’ll give it awhile. Let’s go eat breakfast and try again in a bit.”
We headed toward the house and I noticed a delicious aroma wafting through the back door. Debbie had made us pancakes! I gobbled mine down after drenching everything in syrup. I love syrup almost as much as the pancakes. Debbie gave me another plateful and I started to work on those. It took me a while to eat because Dad and I both had a huge stack on our plates.
Then I helped Debbie clean up afterward. She washed and I dried. Teamwork. After finishing up, Dad and I went back out to the yard to check on the old Studebaker.
It looked kind of sad sitting there under the shade tree. It had been my great-grandfather’s car and when he quit driving, he gave it to Dad. That old bucket of rust had faithfully served my great grandpa for many years. But now it looked tired. Ready to quit.
“Go ahead,” Dad said, “Hop inside and try it.”
I jumped into the driver’s seat, wiggled the gear shift to make sure it was in neutral and pushed the starter button. The motor turned over! But it didn’t start. The second time I pushed the starter button, Dad gave it some gas from under the hood and the engine roared to life.
I was amazed! But I also learned a couple of things from this. First, I got my wit and sarcastic sense of humor from Dad. Second, he was a pretty smart guy. He knew that the aspirin would react with the battery acid and recharge the battery. Dad had plenty of “horse sense,” as he called it.
He was lenient when it came to rules around the house. So long as we let him sleep, Debbie and I could do just about anything we wanted. The only chores we had to do, was keep our room clean, clean the kitchen, and make Dad’s lunch. My sister and I also cleaned up the kitchen after meals.
One day Dad came home and surprised us with a box full of firecrackers. He explained that today was a holiday. July Fourth. I didn’t know what we were celebrating, but this was my first July Fourth and I was excited anyway.
Dad meticulously divided the Black Cats into three equal piles. One for him, one for Debbie, and one for me. The piles were huge.
Then he gave each of us a book of matches and said, “OK. Listen up. The main thing ya’ll want to watch out for is try not to throw a firecracker in somebody’s face.”
He looked at each of us – to make sure we understood the rules – and we both nodded our heads in agreement.
“OK, then… the war’s on!” He cried.
Somehow, while this discussion was going on, he had secretly lit the fuse on a string of black cats. As soon as he cried, ‘The war’s on,’ that string of firecrackers went off right under our feet. I swear, I almost shit myself.
For the next hour or so, we had a full-scale battle going in the living room and the kitchen. Dad had a stronghold behind the couch, but I was working on his defenses by launching a full-frontal assault from the hallway, while Debbie kept lobbing her artillery barrage from the kitchen.
Finally, the last firecracker had been thrown. The living room was hazy with wisps of gray smoke, slowly dissipating. The silence was almost deafening.
I carefully peeked around the big rocker by the hall entrance and saw Dad and my sister standing in the center of the living room, looking around at the devastation. I walked over to join them just as Dad picked up a handful of paper shards from the couch and tossed them into the air. I watched as they fluttered down like confetti.
“Wow! Look at the mess ya’ll made,” Dad said. He grinned at us and added, “Get it cleaned up quick and I’ll take ya’ll into town for dinner.”
Debbie grabbed the broom, while I grabbed the dustpan and the trash can. Then we got busy cleaning up the millions of bits of paper that were scattered throughout the rooms. Each time one of the Black Cats exploded, it would instantly obliterate its paper casing.
Paper pieces were everywhere. Under the couch. On the couch. On the coffee table, and in the kitchen, too. The hallway, the table… literally everywhere.
I saw Debbie rubbing a reddish splotch on her leg and I grinned, “Hurts, don’t it!”
She glared at me, but her glare faded and morphed into a smirk when she saw me rubbing a similar wound on my stomach. “Hurts like hell, don’t it bro!” she mimicked.
I must admit, my sister always seemed to get the best of me. Whenever we fought, she always seemed to get the last lick in, or outsmart me and lock me outside. But we always got over it. Like I said, we were the best of friends. But we fought like mortal enemies every single day.
We were a surprisingly good team when we had to be. Like cleaning up all that firecracker paper. Or doing the dishes. Or the night we took on a gang of thugs and defended our home.
I was sleeping soundly, chasing an ice cream truck down the road. Because I had blazing speed, I quickly caught the truck. The driver was impressed by my amazing speed and concocted a huge triple-decker ice cream cone to reward me. He held it out to me from the side window of the truck and I was reaching up for it. I was stretching, up on my toes. I had just about closed my fingers around the cone when my sister suddenly began shaking my shoulder. Hard.
“Billy!” she hissed, “Get up! There’s somebody breakin’ into the house!”
I jumped up, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. “You made me drop my cone!” I accused her.
She looked confused for a second, then said, “WAKE UP! There’s somebody in our house!”
I was awake now. And scared. “What are we gonna do?” I asked her. She was my big sister. She was supposed to know these things.
I stared bug-eyed at the huge gun she was holding and watched her as she gripped it tightly with both hands. Debbie was shaking, but she had a look of determination on her face as she held Dad’s pistol. The barrel of that that big .38 revolver was wavering, but she kept it pointed down the hall.
When we first arrived in Canadian, Dad taught both of us how to shoot. He showed us how to aim and shoot tin cans lined up on the fence beside the barn. He took a lot of time teaching us, explaining that someday it would come in handy if we could shoot. He also insisted that we learn firearm safety.
Countless hours of shooting tin cans behind the barn – coupled with his critique of our performance afterward – had eventually paid off. We could shoot.
Dad worked almost every night, leaving us alone in the house. He was determined that we would become competent with his guns. Just in case we ever needed to use them. He instructed us to shoot anybody that came into the house while he was gone.
Now, that time had come.
Debbie said matter-of-factly, “We’re gonna shoot em.”
She held the pistol out – offering it to me. I took it and wrapped both my trembling hands around the huge grip.
Creeping silently down the hall, we could hear muffled noises of someone talking in the kitchen. Cabinet doors creaking as they were opened and then seconds later banging shut. In my fear and excitement, the noises were amplified. As we crept slowly through the dark house towards the unknown, my heart was in my throat.
As scared as we were, we didn’t hesitate. Someone was in our house and Dad was depending on us to defend our home. We silently crept through the hallway with the big pistol leading the way. Me following close behind. Debbie bringing up the rear.
When we came into the kitchen, I could see two people silhouetted by the bright moonlight streaming through the screen door. They had their attention focused on the cabinets and didn’t notice us standing there.
“FREEZE!” I screamed.
I was a huge fan of The Lone Ranger TV show and he always yelled ‘Freeze!’ at the bad guys so I thought it was the thing to do.
But my bad guys did not freeze. In fact, they scrambled towards the door. I started squeezing the trigger as fast as I could and unloaded the pistol at the two dark shapes. Six shots fired in about three seconds.
I killed the wall and the screen door, but completely missed the burglars.
When Dad came home a few hours later, he called us into the kitchen. We were awake, still excited from the events of the night, so we quickly joined Dad in the kitchen. He was examining some of the bullet holes in the screen door when we stampeded into the room.
For the next few minutes, we stammered and chattered excitedly about how we had heard noises and then found burglars in the house. I told him how I had shot at them and run them off. I remember hoping he wouldn’t be disappointed in me because I had failed to kill them. I was fervently hoping that he would be happy with the successful defense of our home and maybe overlook the poor marksmanship.
“Good job kids,” he said, “Ya’ll were serious, huh!”
I didn’t find out until many years later that Dad had sent a couple of his friends over to the house to get some whiskey which he had stashed in the cabinet above the ice box. Evidently, Dad wasn’t working that night, so he and his friends decided a party was in order. When his friends came back to the diner where he was waiting, they told him that his kids had tried to kill them.
It’s amazing to me- many years later, as I write this – that I was able to fire six shots at ten feet and not hit a damn thing. It’s only amazing, because one day, I would become an Expert Marine Corps competition shooter.
Dad was a good shot, though. Hell, he was a GREAT shot. I’ve seen him make shots that were damn near impossible and make them look easy. One day when I thought Dad was asleep, I heard him call out my name, “Billy, come in here!”
I ran down the hall and slid into his bedroom. He was lying very still on the bed, like a red headed mannequin.
“Hand me my gun!” he whispered.
I took the pistol off the dresser and handed it to him, “What the heck are you doin, Dad?”
Suddenly, in one fluid motion that could have put Wild Bill Hickok to shame, he took the pistol from me, swung toward the wall and rapidly squeezed off two shots!
Blue smoky haze filled the room as he sat up and yelled, “I got him!”
“What?” I was standing there with my mouth hanging open. Trying to rub the ringing out of my ears.
“That damn fly!” he chortled.
He jumped up from the bed and went over to the wall, closely examining one area. I ran over and sure enough, there were two neat holes about a half inch apart.
“Where’s he at, Dad?” I was struggling to see the dead fly, but I couldn’t see anything but those two holes in the wall.
“Here he is!” He bent down on the floor beneath the bullet holes and picked something up from the floor.
“I didn’t wanna kill him.” He was studying the object in his hand closely, “I just wanted to shoot his wings off so he would quit botherin’ me while I was tryin’ to sleep.”
I looked in his hand to see whatever it was that he was studying so closely. There was a fly crawling around his palm, pitifully buzzing with only one wing.
“Holy cow, Dad!” Jumping up and down. “Great shot!”
“Nahhh, it wasn’t,” he drawled, “I only got one wing.”
That summer is also when Dad taught me to shoot his rifle. It was an old 1896 Mauser that he won in a poker game and it was awesome. I helped Dad set up some cans behind the barn and watched as he blasted away at them with the 7.65 caliber bullets. Every time he fired, a can would fly off the fence.
He shot four cans in a row, then stopped. Two cans still standing. He motioned me over to him and handed me the rifle. Then he walked a few paces away and turned to watch.
I stood holding the rifle up to my shoulder, just like Dad had taught me. The damn thing was heavy. I struggled to keep it from moving around so much as I squinted down the peep sight at the two enemy cans.
“It’s too heavy, Dad,” I whimpered.
“No, it’s not. You can do it. Just squeeze the trigger.”
By now, the rifle barrel was really wobbling around and my knees were beginning to shake. I wanted to get this over with as soon as I could, so I closed my eyes and pulled the trigger. The recoil knocked me on my ass. Literally.
Dad laughed and said, “Get off your ass, son!” He helped me chamber another round and said, “Go on! Take another shot.”
It was the absolute LAST thing I wanted to do at that moment, but I had to do it. Dad was watching.
I squeezed off another shot. And again, the recoil put me on my ass. But I had done it! I felt the excitement of knowing I had accomplished some remarkable thing. With pride welling up inside my chest, I looked up at Dad, waiting for his praise.
He towered above me, disappointment clouding his features. Reaching down, he picked me up and dusted the barnyard dirt off my ass. When he spoke, his words cut deep.
“Well, maybe with more practice you’ll be able to hit something,” he said. Then as he turned to go back to the house, he pointed towards the still living cans and added, “You missed both times.”
I was heartbroken. I resolved then and there to do better next time. I knew in my heart that I could kill those damn cans if I just tried hard enough. Wouldn’t Dad be proud of me then!!!
I watched his lanky frame walking away. As he passed by the rabbit hutches, I suddenly remembered that I had not fed them. Or cleaned their cages. I hurried to the barn to get the wash pale and their food. If I hurried, maybe I could get it done before Dad noticed.
There were about fifty rabbits in the pens. I had the responsibility of cleaning their cages, feeding them and giving them fresh water. When we first arrived at Dad’s house, I enjoyed taking care of them. I had never had a rabbit before.
As time went on, the daily routine of cleaning their shit out of the cages became tedious. Then a chore. And not long after that, I began to hate those rabbits. I resented having to clean their cages when I would rather be exploring the fields with Rex. Or running over to the next farm and playing with the kids there.
Those rabbits were nasty little fuckers, and I was getting sick of them. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. I wasn’t sick of ALL of them. Debbie and I had adopted one right after we first arrived. We named him Peter, as in Peter Rabbit. He followed us around like a little floppy-eared dog. If we went in the house, he was right behind us. He even slept in Debbie’s room at night. So, no… I wasn’t sick of him. In fact, Debbie and I loved him. Not as much as I loved Rex, but still.
One day, Dad announced that we would be moving soon. His rig had completed drilling at their location, and we would be moving to Ft. Stockton, Texas for the next rig. He told us that we had to get rid of the rabbits before we left. He planned on selling the ones he could and eating the rest. I was thrilled at this news! No more damn rabbit shit to clean up!
After that, Dad started cooking them for dinner. He took me out behind the barn and showed me how to skin them, but it was a little too gross for me. No rabbit-skinning in my future.
But I had no trouble eating them! Dad was a good cook, and they were delicious. We ate fried rabbit, rabbit stew, rabbit sandwiches, and even barbecued rabbit a couple of times. Those few weeks before we left, Dad prepared rabbit for almost every meal.
He also sold some of them to the neighbor, until finally, there wasn’t even one rabbit left in the pens out back. We had eaten or sold every single one of them. Good riddance.
We were all packed up and just about ready to move. I was tired from packing stuff in boxes all day and I needed a break. I was lounging on the couch when Debbie walked in and sat down. She had a concerned look on her face and I could tell something was wrong.
“What’s the matter? You look like you’ve been cryin’,” I said.
“Have you seen Peter today?”
“No…” I said, as I thought about it. “I haven’t seen him all day.”
“Help me look for him,” she said, “I think he’s runned off.”
We looked high and low for Peter but could not find him. We kept looking even after Dad woke up and started cooking supper. My sister and I searched everywhere. Rex helped, too. But even with his keen nose, we came up empty. Peter was not here anywhere. He had disappeared.
Just about then, Dad called us to the table. “Come ‘n git it!” he yelled.
We both quickly ran to the kitchen and sat down.
“Ya’ll eat up,” Dad said.
By now, I was damn tired of eating rabbit. But I was hungry, so I piled the meat on my plate and immediately began stuffing my mouth full. Debbie served herself, then after taking a few bites, she put her fork down.
“Dad, have you seen Peter Rabbit today?” she asked.
Dad looked up as she continued, “We’ve been looking all over for him…”
Dad held up his index finger as if to say he would answer in a second. We both waited and watched as he chewed his food. Then he put his fork down, swallowed, and said, “You’re eating him.”
He took a drink, “He was the last one…”
My sister and I sat there in shock. Suddenly, I had lost my appetite. Debbie jumped up and ran from the table, about as upset as a six-year-old girl could be, I guess.
As a matter of fact, she has never eaten rabbit again.