This really happened to me

This really happened to me

By Rod Myers

By Rod Myers


It was either Sports Afield or Field & Stream magazine that featured the illustrated “This Happened to Me” story in every issue. These were stories sent in by the readers that were reproduced and illustrated by the magazine. I really dug those stories, and I’ve always wanted to do my own true versions, so just for you, I present “This Really Happened to Me.” Reader’s caution—the following short stories are kinda different.

I’d just been chastised by my uncle for making juvenile cedar waxwings flush from their nest, but I was so absorbed by the birds, I didn’t see the hole my uncle’s dog had dug. I had both eyes on a young waxwing when I stepped in the K-9’s excavation, pulling my Achilles tendon badly. I couldn’t walk for a week; however, in the following days spent crawling through the yard, I found some of the neatest bugs an 11-year-old could ever hope to find.

While standing in the backyard one morning before going off to grade school, I noticed a bluejay way up in the sky. The bird was too far away for me to notice his aerial defecation. Splat. It was too late to change shirts; my ride was here! That day at school, the teacher laughed or giggled whenever she looked my way. Her last guffaw was so strong, it caused her to make a sound, if you get my windy drift. Then I couldn’t and wouldn’t stop laughing.

Two years later, I was in a rowboat with another uncle on the northern Wisconsin’s Red Cedar River. We came upon a large tree branch reaching out over the water. Kingbirds had their nest on the branch, and it was low enough for me to reach, and reach is what I did. With much excitemet and mouth agape, I grabbed a young bird from the nest. That bird defecated at the worst possible time, and it must have been smart poop because it found the big cave in my head which was my mouth. It tasted worse than the best health food you can imagine.

One year when we were going to my grandparents’ house in northern Wisconsin for the weekend, I brought my young pet raccoon (Rocky) along. We had just left from an eatery, and Dad had set his hamburger down on the dashboard. Rocky seized the opportunity and grabbed the meat, leaving two warm buns due east of the steering wheel. Everyone got their burger—everyone but me. I had to give mine to Pops.

The day after we arrived at Grandma’s, we rented a boat and went to the Red Cedar River. I was fishing for bass with an artificial bait called a mousie, which had two sets of trouble hooks. Rocky wasn’t satisfied with just dragging his front feet through the water; he wanted the mousie bait. As the bait neared the boat while being reeled in after a cast, Rocky grabbed it with his paws, then bit it, snaring himself in the nose with one of the trouble hooks. Dad came to the rescue and pulled the hook from the screaming raccoon’s nose with a pair of pliers. Rocky had been hooked near the end of his nose; thus, no blood was shed when the hook came out.

In the fracas, one set of hooks was straightened, but we continued to use the bait. I was about 20 yards from the spot on the Red Cedar River where the young kingbird had crapped in my mouth six years earlier. Suddenly, the biggest bass I’d ever seen hit my bait. It must have weighed nine pounds or more, and Rocky rose from his sore naptime to watch the commotion. Bertha Bass was never permanently hooked; the set of hooks she grabbed were too straight. Rocky in all his cuteness was ruining my trip to Nordica.

I was mad at little Rocky, so I locked the door, making him sleep outside somewhere that night. The next day, we couldn’t find him, and we were going home at noon. “We’re leaving at noon, no matter what!” said Dad. We packed the car, then looked for Rocky. We called and yelled and called some more, but nowhere was my poor little baby raccoon. It was five minutes to high noon, and the tears were running down my face. Then, all of a sudden, I heard a scratchig noise up near the attic window.

“There he is!” I shouted as a sleepy-eyed little bundle of raccoon joy began to climb down an old ladder left just beneath the attic window.

Rod Myers is a local resident with an interest in nature and the environment. He is a member of the Rockford Amateur Astronomers Club, the Sinnissippi Audubon Society, Wild Ones Natural Landscapers and the Planetary Society.

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