( MS )
Standing there quietly, a visitor would hardly notice. But he knew. He knew that it had been carefully wiped down before putting it up in the cabinet.
There are those that would think, “he’s crazy to waste such time on that old worn and scratched thing”.
Each time that he passed nearby and glanced at it, he knew it was there. It would remind him of many good times in the woods, shared often times with good friends and dogs he had raised.
The bluing is badly worn through to the bare metal where it rested in the gun rack or was carried by a damp hand for many miles.
The wood forearm and stock that looked so beautiful when new, has little of the origonal finish on it now. Briar scratches and brush marks are clearly visible on the wood.
The origonal front bead was lost during a fall into a creek one deer season. It has been replaced, and the replacement has lost it’s brass post bead.
As he takes it from the cabinet memories of many great hunts flood through his mind.
Wiping it lightly and getting ready to go the rifle range to check the “zero”, he thinks, “nearly every imperfection has a story to tell.”
Stories of frosty mornings, the bay of beagles working on a track, the smell of a campfire and coffee with friends. Stories of hours on a stand high up in “ease on gap” and awakening from a “power nap” with the sunshine on his face and wildlife making scurrying movements nearby.
Sometimes he wonderd about the workers at Winchester that assembled his old 30-30.
Could they possibly imagine the Ouachita mountian deer hunts that their product would go on, and the the meals it would put on the table ?