I didn't want to go hunting with Uncle Clay that morning. Now I have to live with what happened for the rest of my life. It was just an accident. The rabbit ran away. Clay fell.
Nothing has been the same for Daniel since that morning in the woods when Uncle Clay went down. Mom tries to hold the family together. Mrs. Hardy, Daniel’s guidance counselor, tries to help Daniel after he loses his role model and best friend. Daniel’s alcoholic father just makes the situation worse. The memory of that cold morning will stay with Daniel forever. But somehow, he must find a way to go on . . . for Uncle Clay . . . and most of all, for himself.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Gone from These Woods|
|Release Date: 08-25-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Children's Books|
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|Parent title||Gone from These Woods|
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Gone from These Woods
I didn't want to shoot a rabbit that cold November morning in 1992. Most men and boys I knew-and even some girls-lived to hunt wild game in the North Georgia woods that surrounded Newtonville.
But not me.
One day when I was five, I came up on Dad and his younger brother, Clay, skinning some rabbits they'd just killed in Sartain Woods. I tried not to breathe in the dead smell as Dad's big, rough hands ripped a rabbit's fur off like it was a candy bar wrapper. Right then, I decided hunting wasn't for me.
Uncle Clay had a different idea when he gave me Granddaddy Sartain's old .410 shotgun for my eleventh birthday. That gun, with its smooth walnut stock and long black barrel, had hung over the fireplace mantel in Clay's cabin for as long as I could remember.
"I didn't think I'd ever get Granddaddy's .410," I said, sighting down the barrel at a cardinal perched on a mimosa tree outside Clay's kitchen window. I hadn't ever thought about killing a bird, either. But I could feel the power of that possibility with Granddaddy's gun in my hands and my eye focused on those red feathers.
"Pop would have given you his shotgun before your eleventh birthday, if he was still around," Clay said. "It's past time you learned how to hunt and it don't look like your daddy is ever gonna stop drinking long enough to teach you."
I thought about Dad ripping that dead rabbit's skin off when I was five as I traced the swirl design on the gun's black metal faceplate with my finger. That firearm had felt good in my hands. Still, I couldn't imagine killing anything.
But if Clay said I ought to hunt, I figured I should