1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Jest Ole Alderson Boys

Jim Jones

Jones Fables No. 1

The other day David Shields used the expression on me "that dog won't hunt." This reminded me of when the infamous Beaver Harrah and I was a mite younger and went rabbit huntin' nigh on to eber day we could. We hunted them from before daylight until after dark, on occasion we even did hit during legal season. I recalls a time we almost came to blows over who could claim the kill when we both shot at the same time as one of dem white tails went across someone's yard. He made the mistake of runnin' under the light and we rolled Mr Rabbit right under the guy's front porch.

The Beav started us out with a some-part begal (dats sumthin like a bench-leg begal), and I'm sure he acquired it from the pound. I believe he and Mrs. Beaver were residing in Wakefield Manor, an exclusive Arlington VA apartment in which Beav, Fish Ballard and I had shared an apartment prior to our marriages. Meanwhile back to the mainestmost story, Beav trained that dog to hunt rabbits in the apartment parking lot wit big ole rats what he painted white hinnies on to look like the real thang. Well, hit sure did fool me and at ole dog .

Beaver owned a plantation and palatial mansion house in Back Creek Valley, just west of Martinsburg, WV. On weekends Beav was a trainin that hound and me on the plantation. As time went on he bought Dilah, no doubt at the pound, and dem dogs started to multiplyin' like rabbits. And as the Beav began building this fine line of hunting hounds up he and his father-in-law purchased unimproved property in downtown Jones Springs, WV. The general store/post office was right across the road from the ranch and was best know as the WV headquarters of the John Birch Society. Now while acquiring cans of Spam and those little wieners in that place, we made lots of friends. Meanwhile back to the huntin', this property had been cut over prior to their purchase and the residue thereof had been piled up in what was called windrows. These windrows consisted of brush, briers, vines, junk and stumps that provided a perfect haven for our eastern cottontail. By now the hunt master's dogs would count somewhere between 4 and 9 depending on who was with pups, who had been sold or who was out of favor at the time. Now with that many dogs we were bound to get up somethin' even if they were a chasin' each utter.

Which reminds me of the morning I picked up ole Frank Godby to go hunting. Frank was doing private investigative work that night. Said he hadn't been home cause of work and sech. Jedging from the way he smelled and acted, he was required to partake of that ole rut gut likker to fit in with his subject under surveillance. There I was waiting for him when he drove up real fast, parked, jumped into my ride, laid down in the back seat (I guess he was just tired) and said "Hit her quick", which I took to mean get on the road rapidly. You know, I'm still wondering why that state trooper kept following me until we cleared the Fairfax County line. We met Beaver at the ranch just as it was breaking day. There was some fog and plenty of dew that morning. I hadn't bothered ole Frankie cause of him working so hard that night so I had to get him up out of the backseat and help him load his gun. I jest can't remember why he was having a problem getting the shells to fit in his shotgun that morning. Well Beaver liked to start the dogs early when there was plenty of dew on the ground cause he said it was easier for them to pick up and hold the scent. The dogs had a difference of opinion wit the hunt master that morning cause they went to laying under the truck instead of hittin' the brush. Guess they were waiting on the sun to rise or a little better weather or maybe they didn't thank their contract called for rabbit hunting without being able to clearly see. Actually ole Beav and I had seen this act of theirs afore so we just arm gathered a few of them up and threw them as high and hard as we could into the closest windrow. I'm unsure about what happened in the brush but they came out bout fast as we threw 'em in just a barkin' and a nawin' at one another. This excited the others what hadn't been throwed and they must have said, Hey lets get 'em and dey all took off a chasin the first ones what was a fighting. At this juncture Frank realized we had gotten to the ranch, we were rabbit hunting and the dogs were running, barking and all. Next thing I knew Frank started firing at the lead dog what was trying to clear the first hump. Beaver was jest beside himself a squealing "Don't shot my dogs, don't shoot my dogs". I don't 'member zactly what transpired then but Frankie is still around so Beaver neber must'ah kill him. As fer dat lead dog, he was probably on his way to the store to lick some empty Spam cans. All I know is eber once in a while "those dogs wouldn't hunt" but we didn't just make water on the fire and go home, we took other measures. We would throw them in the brush, we kicked em in, dragged em in, or cuzzed 'em real well and often. If those tactics failed us, Beav and I would take turns being the dog. One of us would wade through the windrows up to our hips, as the other would hunt. We had a mind to cookin' a few rabbits even if those ole dogs wouldn't hunt.

A few years ago when we were both either in or nearing our fifties and were each bout fifty pounds heavier, the Beaver called to brag about a fine dog he had and how well he hunted rabbits. He wanted to go down in Orange County VA next Saturday Morning. I said, "Hail yes" I would meet him in Centreville for breakfast. I did real well getting up and eating breakfast, but after that things went down hill. We were in the rabbit patch nice and early, got the dog out and encouraged him to hit the brush piles. Now he must've been a g-g-grandson of those other great hunters 'cause he wasn't having any. (Beaver said he had a head cold.) Neither of us was able to throw or kick him into the brush (no doubt, he was bigger than his grand daddy) so we just cussed him real good. Remembering the old days I said I would kick the brush first and the Beav could shoot them as they came out. I jumped into the briers and brush with gusto for somewhere around five minutes before I ask Mr. Harrah if he cared for coffee. He said, "Come with me to the truck." After a cup or two Beav said he would kick the brush for me a while. It was another five minutes when we needed more coffee. Now while the dog, (by the way, that hound was eating our lunches when we got to the truck) hunt master and I were sharing a cup we saw the lady who owned the land. She had a large greenhouse and was selling azaleas. We 'louded as how we had about enough rabbits, bought an azalea a piece for our best girls, and drove on back in time for a nap prior to lunch at home.

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