Hey Alder, while it may look like I lead an entitled youth - what with bb guns, chemistry sets, etc........
I was really just lucky enough to be the youngest in a long line of men who tamed the Great Plains.
My entire life has been a hand-me-down life. That being said, I was handed down some "toys" that were considered above the "pay grade" of most children. - ( 16 gauge shotgun, .22 rifle, bb guns, ATVs, horses, wide-open spaces alone as a youth with no supervision whatsoever - we were at least 10 miles from the nearest neighbor ) I didn't have a lot of "toys" but the ones I had were freakin' cool. I learned to ride horses and all-terrain-vehicles before I learned to ride a bicycle.
Truth be told, I was too dumb for the chemistry set. I did the disappearing ink experiment, made steam distillates, and a few other simple experiments but nothing grand.
I had a bow and arrows. I grew up in the LA burbs, two blocks from the LA city line, but I always found the wild places and was drawn to be there, even if it was just an empty lot on a busy boulevard. I once found a switchblade knife in someone's trash. As I was to learn later in the navy, "nothing is kid-proof or sailor-proof."
I grew as a city boy when i met my biological father when i was about 10 years old things changed quickly. He is a old time hillbilly who truly depended on and lived of the land.
He introduced to me to my first gun which was a .22 ling rifle semi-automatic. I killed many things that i wasnt supposed and it came at a consequence......not only the rage of a old time mountain ass whoopin but was grounded from all firearms which included no hunting for the season which i hated because i was/am good at it and it came naturally to me almost as if I were born wired to be great at it. I also have memories of all the cold blooded killings of all the poor animals.
Anyway what takes the cake, i was 13 years old and had a small crossbow that by no means was a toy and very leathal but it about arrows the length and diameter of a number 2 pencil.
So im shooting from the kitchen into the dining room about 15 yards where my target was. I was shooting it having a good time including my father but i aimed and the arrow hit a blown out part of the very thin target and it went through and hit a vase and the it deflected upwards and hit there pet crow in the neck and killed it dead as [email protected]
*# . My stepmother was so upset and needless to say my father and I were no longer able to shoot anything in the house.
Some toys are just to dangerous!
PS: This crow named Jr was bad ass and it actually talked or mimicked laungage. It had its tounge clipped when it was very young .......crazy thing is this bird was smart. It would solve simple puzzles and recognized colors it was taught. Im not certain but I believe crows are one of the smartest birds....even though they are annoying when that suns comes.