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Breaking Bread with Mr. Billy, Mr. Billy's Beagles, and the Bunnies
I'm going to make a stab at retelling a story that is the stuff of legends.
Once again, I did not personally witness the event that I am about to recount, but I first heard the story from one of the guys it happened to, and that's my dear husband, the Big Bison. Then, I heard it retold last night by one of the other guys it happened to, the Big Bison's Buddy, Steve. And except for a small delectable embellishment or two, the story Steve told was remarkably similar to the story that the BB told me when he came home, so I guess it's pretty close to true.
Our story begins when Steve, who is almost as passionate about hunting as he is about his love for his Lord and his wife, called up the BB to see if he wanted to go hunting. Steve has shared his passion for hunting with the BB, and now, the BB loves to hunt almost as much as Steve does, so it took absolutely nothing more than a "Ya wanna go hunting?" for the BB to say, "Where are we going?"
Well, this time it was rabbit hunting. Yes, they were off into the wilds to shoot Little Bunny Foo Foo. Now if you are one of those people who despise hunting and hunters, hang in there. This story might even have something in it for you. Because this particular little expedition would lead our intrepid band into...well...just read on.
Steve's plan for this day involved hunting rabbits with a guide who owned trained hunting dogs. And the hunting dogs were owned by a feller known as Mr. Billy. So, when Mr. Billy pulled up his truck and "released the hounds", as it were, 15 slavering, slobbering, stinking beagles poured from the back of his truck. My dear husband had envisioned a guy with a trained Labrador or two, but no, Mr. Billy had beagles. In a big way. Steve asked Mr. Billy, "Why do you have so MANY beagles, Mr. Billy?" and Mr. Billy, in tones deeply Southern replied, "You know, when you go to church, and you hear a trio sing, that's nice, but when you got the whole choir to sing...well, that's just somethin' special..."
Accompanying my dear husband and Steve that day were a couple of other guys: a friend named Brody, and Brody's father. But before these boys were even allowed to begin the hunt, Mr. Billy whipped out a legal document for each of them to sign. The document stated that if one of Mr. Billy's Beagles were accidentally shot during the course of the hunt, the shooter would be responsible for reimbursing Mr. Billy to the tune of $2000.00 per slobbering beagle. So, that day, when Mr. Billy let down the gate of his pickup truck, that was thirty thousand dollars worth of beagle flesh that bounded off the back of the truck. The second Mr. Billy did that, all thirty thousand dollars worth of dogs began peeing and pooping because they'd been kenneled up for a while and were glad to have the opportunity to take care their bodily functions.
The dogs hadn't been out of the truck more than a minute when one of them caught the scent of a rabbit, and the whole choir commenced to singing, and the hunt was on. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say that they had a successful morning's hunt.
Included in the price of the hunt for which they had hired Mr. Billy and his Beagles, was a picnic lunch, so, when lunch time came around, they all went back to the truck, eager for a little sustenance. I mentioned to you that Brody and his father were on the hunt with them, and sadly, Brody's Dad had contracted a virus the day before the hunt. He had paid for the hunt, and was determined to go, but by the time lunch rolled around, his guts were pretty well rolling around as well, so he excused himself to go off into the woods to be ill. Meanwhile, Mr. Billy stepped off into the woods to the other side of the truck to clean the rabbits who had been taken in the morning's hunt. Steve, Brody, and the Big Bison expectantly lifted the lid of the beat up Colman ice chest that contained the lunch that was to have been provided for them. What delicacies awaited our boys on this $400 hunt? A loaf of (ironically enough) Bunny bread, which you find here in the South (it's just plain old white bread); a package of baloney (in Mr. Billy's defense, the baloney was sliced nice and thick), a jar of mayonnaise and a jar of mustard, a bunch of single serving size bags of chips, and a few cans of Coke. Now remember, they were eating on the back of the truck in the middle of the area where the beagles, all 15 of them, had earlier relieved themselves, and so the dogs by now had commenced to rolling in the earlier mess. Brody's Dad is hurling his guts out to the left, Mr. Billy is gutting rabbits with great abandon to the right, and our intrepid hunters are attempting to eat unappetizing baloney sandwiches in the midst of the blood and the guts and the stench.
Brody looked over at Steve and the BB and raised his can of Coke in a toast,
"You know boys, it just doesn't get any better than this..."
Dear Lord God.
Please say that it does...