Uncle Charlie Tales

................stories about upland game birds, bird dogs, and shotguns but mostly about the man who loves all three

Yield Not? I Can't

The old preacher thumped out his favorite “yield not to temptation” sermon and warned against the evils of wild women, the wily devil and white lightning, things that every twelve year old boy needs to hear, right? Uncle Charlie sat beside me, glazed over eyes and a half smile on his lips, and I guess I thought he was caught up in the rhythm of the preaching and halfway to heaven. Little did I know he was pursuing his own feathered temptation through the brushy fencerows of his mind.

I’m grown now. I outran all the dames except the one that caught me. I whipped the strong drink after college and the army. I even pound out some of my own “yield not” sermons when my Atlanta congregation needs it. But mention Uncle Charlie’s little southern gentleman, Mr. Bob White, and I quickly lose all vestments of piety and begin to babble and mimic pointing dogs while fighting an uncontrollable urge to wallow in the nearest weed field.

Now I suppose you’re wondering how a person of my character and reputation can resort to such Pavlovian behavior at the mere drop of a word. It’s really a matter of inheritance. A lot of men have inherited millions of dollars and some even whole corporations but none can compare with the inherited desire to hunt birds. I suppose if you were really lucky you’d get both but somebody forgot to tell Uncle Charlie that dogs and dollars could mix. It was either or at his house and we got the overflow of bird dog puppies.

So there, you know my weakness, my Achilles heel. I confess it. I’m lustful, lazy and a liar because I inherited my Uncle’s genes. I lust after fine 20 gauge doubles. I covet my neighbor’s setter. I simply cannot focus on work between November and February. I make up awful excuses about all the shots I miss. I even cover for my dogs’ mistakes.

I have yielded to temptation. I must pursue Mr. Bob whatever the cost.

“Hello? Yes operator, I’ll accept the charges.”

“Yeah Uncle Charlie, I recognized your voice. No, I didn’t forget it was opening day. I’ll be there early Saturday morning. Have the coffee pot on.”

See what I mean?

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