Monday, March 14, 2011
It had been a relatively quiet and uneventful day for Deputy Sheriff Cletus A. VanMeter--an unassuming fellow of impeccable character ... unquestionable integrity ... and unwavering sobriety ... as he sat poised for action in a big V8-powered patrol car parked clandestinely behind the familiar Sunbeam Bread billboard which stood adjacent to the main drag ... the only sounds to be heard were an occasional motor vehicle passing by, and numerous and frequent gunshots boom! boom! echoing from amongst the distant hills ... quite possibly emanating from the general direction of Grandpa & Grandma DooLittle's place ... now it was well-known around those parts that Grandpa DooLittle only fired off his worthy Stevensen shotgun in order to bag a critter for supper ... or to scare off some pestiferous troublemaker ... or maybe even a slithering revenuer now and again ... none of which required more than a single shot ... two at the most ... so considering the relentless fusillade, Deputy Cletus figured it prudent to respond forthwith to ascertain the welfare and status of one Grandpa DooLittle.
Cletus hurriedly made his way up the gravel lane leading to the DooLittle place as the persistent sound of gunfire grew louder ... soon he was steering the shiny police vehicle through the gate, and as he cautiously approached the DooLittle house there sat Grandpa in his rocking chair on the front porch peering vigilantly into the woods ... a look of dismay upon his craggy face ... his trusty Stevensen resting upon his bony knees ... spent shell casings scattered everywhere ... suddenly the old man brought the heavy weapon to his shoulder and leveled it in the direction of a thick clump of bull-briers Booom! Booom!! ... "what on earth is wrong with you DooLittle?! ... what are you shootin' at anyhow? cried the stunned policeman, his ears ringing from the thunderous blasts ... "why didn't you see him VanMeter? replied Grandpa ... then once again unexpectedly BOOOM! BOOOOOM!! ... Cletus tried to cover his ears with his hands, unfortunately a split-second too late, and was now certain that his eardrums had been split to shreds ... Cletus immediately sprung onto the porch and wrestled the smoking gun from the bare-knuckled grip of Grandpa DooLittle "now I demand to know ... what the devil are you shootin' at old man ... answer me?!" ... Grandpa pointed in the direction of the woods "are you blind VanMeter? ... cain't you see him? ... Deputy VanMeter slowly and deliberately scanned the wood line from end to end but saw nothing of significance "I don't see nothin' but trees and bushes Grandpa ... so what were you shootin' at?" ... Grandpa's answer was unflinchingly and unabashedly succinct "that thar green-clad lepr'chan!" ... well Deputy Sheriff Cletus A. VanMeter straightaway took a more thorough gander towards the woods! ... when the lawman turned back he discovered what he thought was the likely cause of Grandpa's "lepr'chan" sighting plainly sitting there between the feet of the elderly gunslinger ... an empty 2-gallon stone jug ... of which the intoxicating contents had been gradually transferred during the course of the afternoon down the gullet and into the gaping innards of Grandpa DooLittle ... who was duly and soundly intoxicated!
Cletus helped Grandpa onto his feet, and with the assistance of a now furious Grandma DooLittle they escorted the aged inebriate to his bed as the Deputy eventually convinced him "tongue-in-cheek" that he would at once personally dispatch "that thar green-clad lepr'chan" ... and before leaving, Cletus and Grandma DooLittle had a great laugh all at the expense of Grandpa ... "just to think" Cletus sardonically proclaimed "a green-clad lepr'chan?" ... "never!" as he climbed back behind the wheel, closed the gold star-emblazoned door and commenced to ease the big V8 through the DooLittle gate and back onto the gravel road ... a flash of green caught his eye in the rearview mirror ... "nah ... couldn't be" ... but there it was again ... a glimmer of green behind that tree ... Deputy Cletus slammed on the brakes and whirled around for a more direct look, but saw nothing ... when he turned back around there was yet another flash of green right near the hood of the car ... ol' Cletus A. VanMeter hit the accelerator and never looked back as he sped out of DooLittle Hollar faster than lightning on a greased pole--sternly reassuring himself all along the way "a green-clad lepr'chan! ... couldn't be!"
... "could it?"