Apr
22

Eating Acorns by Roy Brigman

By
When I was in my early 20’s my brother-in-law Randy Rowley called and asked me to go hunting with him. I asked him what kind of hunting and he said that we would be hunting Corsican Sheep. It would be on a game ranch south of Austin Tx in the hill country. He also wanted me to join the new hunting club that he and a friend at his church had started called The B & P Hunting Club; B&P was short for Brothers & Priests. I later learned, much to my chagrin that when hunting and not at church, B&P stood for Burp and Poot! They had many By-Laws and the first three were that we could only consume homemade chili and drink I.B.C. Root Beer & we were never allowed to say excuse me, no matter what.
We arrived that evening at the ranch, everyone introduced themselves and we went over where everyone would be hunting while we ate some good chili and drank some cold root beers.  We could only shoot Corsicans as that is why we were there, to thin out the herd, no mule deers, moose, elks, axis, or anything else, and there were many of them.
Next, Randy reads off the sleeping assignments. Everyone is assigned to a bed, couch, or bunk. I think there were 8 of us there. I was assigned to a double bed with some guy that I had just met and he started to freak out kinda when he realized that he had to bunk with me. The only thing I could figure at the moment was that he didn’t grow up sleeping with four cousins in a single bed as I did.
Well, we all are awakened by the alarm clocks before daylight and everyone starts getting up and moving around. I yawn, stretch and start to get up and the guy next to me jumps up and starts yelling, “OK, that’s it I’ve had enough, I can’t take anymore!!!  I’m leaving”  He tells his friend that came with him to get his gear or he will miss his ride.  They were gone in 5 minutes flying down the driveway.  We were all just speechless.  I realize that everyone is just staring at me.  I started defending myself in the manliest way that I could in Christian surroundings.  They finally let me off the hook.  We decided that he must have had overly sensitive hearing-smelling receptors.  The B&P must have overwhelmed him; the chili was really potent.
Well, to make a long story shorter I’ll get to the good part.
We all went to our assigned hunting spot with our assigned partners to shoot our assigned game. Randy and I got to our spot, sat there for a couple of hours, and never saw anything. We decided to relocate, and while going to the assigned alternate hunting spot we noticed a long line of sheep on the side of the hill across from us. Probably 400 yards away. Too far to shoot a moving target in the wind. And they were moving fast. We decided to try to herd them over the hill to the hunters on the other side. Ok, that’s 400yds down, 400yds up, then get close enough to the goats to scare them over the hill. Had to be a mile along the side of the hill and never caught up to them.
It was very hot by now and getting late in the afternoon so we decided to go to our assigned pick-up spot and rest.  We each sit down underneath big oak trees about ten yards apart facing each other and immediately have an acorn fight with the most gigantic acorns I have ever seen. We wiped the sweat off our brows, drank our last remaining drops of water, and waited for our ride.
I pick up another acorn, and Randy gives me the I’ll-bash-your-face look.  I pull my hunting knife out of its sheath and begin to peel the acorn just because.  After I get it peeled Randy glances up at me and I act like I put the acorn in my mouth and begin to chew, and I just kinda ignore him.  Well, I think I got him hooked so I do it again!  While I am just chewing in ecstasy not even noticing him, Randy says “you can’t eat those – they’re poisonous.”  I said “no they are not, turkeys and dear eat them”.  Louder, he said, “Those are animals; humans can’t eat them.”  I said, “How do you think the Indians survived out here?  They made their bread, tortillas, and stuff out of them.  They are really good, try some!”
I started peeling another one, and he started peeling one too!  I hurried and got mine peeled( not really ) then acted like I was chewing it up.  Randy got his peeled and popped it in his mouth and started chewing.  He was glaring at me; his eyes were getting watery, and his face was getting red.  He rolled over on his hands and knees, spitting out chewed-up acorn and big chunks of it.  He then got to his feet and started trying to wipe the remaining acorn from his teeth and out of his mouth with his fingers, causing him to gag himself a few more times.  While this is happening I had gotten up and taken a few steps toward him, trying to think of something to do that might help him, and hoping that I haven’t poisoned him to death.  He took his fingers out of his mouth and wiped his hands on his pants and looked at me.  When I see the look on his face my fight or flight instinct is automatically on full alert.  He takes a few steps toward me and I take a few steps back; I know that I can outrun him, but he does have a gun!  As you can imagine my thoughts are swirling.  He stops and then yells “I cannot believe that I ate that; I knew better; how did you talk me into that!  I’ll never forget this, EVER!”
Well, true to his word, 30-something years later he has never forgotten it.  Every time he catches more fish or a bigger fish than me or beats me in dominos or Uno or whatever, it’s payback for that day long ago.  I really felt bad and feared for his safety for a few minutes there, but he was OK, and he made an everlasting memory by doing something that I never really thought he would do.  Thankfully he’s a really good-hearted guy and we have had many good hunting and fishing trips since.  I always have a good laugh every time I think about this, he does too but he won’t admit it.  Made good memories.

Categories : Stories

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