Monday, April 7, 2008

A Little History, Part 7: Disaster Avoidance

Not everything in the archery class was all fun and games, however. After a while, there were effectively two archery classes. On one side of the range was the new group of curious newcomers who populated the archery class every quarter. On the other side, separated by a line of hay bales, was the group of returning archers, namely me and Elisa. The newcomers' line was being run by the assistant coach, while the advanced group was on our own time. Because of the separation by the hay bales, the lines were on slightly different time schedules, so we were sometimes shooting while they were retrieving, and vice-versa.

At one point, I was at full draw, ready to shoot, when I noticed something was not quite right. Something was at my target that was not supposed to be there. What had happened was while we were shooting on our side of the range, the beginners were retrieving their arrows. One little girl, about 10 or 12 years old, had walked behind the dividing line of hay bales and right up to the one I was shooting at, just as I was drawing back my arrow. Fortunately for everyone, she had gotten there just in time for me to let down. Had she gotten there about a second later, I would have already fired, and she would have had the daylights scared out of here by an arrow flying near her head. Had she gotten there about half a second later, however, she might have effected my aim, and I do not like to think what might have happened then. Because she got there when she did, I was able to let the pressure off my bow and not fire the arrow.

In the aftermath of the near miss, the little girl got a hard talking to and a stern warning. The assistant coach was told she needs to pay a lot closer attention to make sure that kind of thing did not happen. As for me, I know that if the near miss had turned into a disaster, my little archery experiment, as well as my life as I knew it, would have come to an abrupt end. As it turns out, I just have a horror story to tell, and nothing worse than that.

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