12.05.2006

How to Hunt Squirrels

I used to work as a writing tutor in grad school. One of the "tricks" I often relied on when I came across a difficult-to-read passage, especially when working with ESL students, was to ask them what they were trying to say. Then I would write down what they said out loud, and have the student read what I'd written. I know, it's not terribly complicated. The students, though, were often surprised in a good way by what they'd "written." They'd say things like, "That sounds pretty good," or "That sounds much better." Recently, J.C. started working as an adult literacy tutor, and she said they learned how to use this same technique, which she called Language Experience Tutoring. She said she wanted to start using it with our nephew, D., and, well, I spent the night with D. this past weekend, and the following morning, I was a little tired of playing video games, so I got out my laptop. I told him that it was my job to write stories, but that I thought he'd be pretty good at writing stories, too. Then I gave him a title and he went to work:
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How to Hunt Squirrels

by D. Petrie and Chad Simpson [We put our names on the thing as a final step. D. wanted to send it to some hunting/fishing expert whose name we couldn't find on the Internet. I told him that I could put it up on my blog instead, and he liked the idea, even if he didn't know what a blog was. When I typed in our names, though, D. wanted me to include his phone number, in case the hunting/fishing expert comes across our article and wants to get in touch with him.]

1. Get your pellet gun ready: put ammo in the barrel.

2. Get your hunting gear on: Wear orange and brown camouflage. The orange protects you from getting shot by other hunters.

3. Bring a bag to carry your squirrels in.

4. Go to a wooded area with lots of trees--maple, white oak, and hickory.

5. Bring along an adult--your dad or grandma. [D. took his audience into consideration after saying this out loud. He said, "Other people might think that's weird," but D. often takes his grandma into the woods with him, so I talked him into keeping it.]

6. Stay down in the brush. Sit and wait. Be patient.

7. Look for the squirrels up in trees and running on the ground. Also, look for holes in the trees that the squirrels live in.

8. When you see a squirrel, turn the safety on your pellet gun off. Aim for the squirrel's temple or at his leg or his side.

9. Squeeze the trigger.

10. After you've shot the squirrel, let him fall out of the tree. Wait a few minutes for him to die.

11. Pick up the squirrel by his tail or his legs, preferably the tail. [I added the word 'preferably' after D. made a face and said, "I don't like picking them up by the legs."]

12. Put the squirrel in the bag.

13. Repeat steps seven through twelve until you have five squirrels in your bag.

2 comments:

fringes said...

Great story. Thanks for reminding me to wait for the squirrel to die! Nothing worse than a squirmy dying squirrel. I hope the hunting expert calls...

Bice said...

Aw... that's really cool. I loved #13. Spoken with the innocent, matter-of-factness of a a child.