The mad archer is loose

Prized possessions that they are, the bow and arrow we built together are locked away in Tony’s room, so I don’t have a photograph to offer. But he’s very proud of them, and damned if the arrow doesn’t travel quite a distance, despite being fired from a homemade weapon of green wood strung with mason’s line (after an unsatisfying experiment with jute string).

The idea came from … well … every boy’s imagination, of course. But it was inspired by The Dangerous Book for Boys and its nostalgia for the risky, outdoorsy, jury-rigged boyhoods of yore. I experienced much of that kind of boyhood myself (can you say tennis-ball-can mortar?), and I’m inspired to hand it on to Tony.

Of course, the British authors of Dangerous recommended types of wood entirely unavailable in Arizona. Ash? Where in hell am I going to get ash? So we used a mesquite branch. But mesquite is covered — I mean covered — in thorns. So I shaved them off with my pocket knife.

Which is yet another reason to make sure Tony has a pocket knife!

Then we found out that jute string is crap, lasting maybe three shots before shredding. So we broke out the mason’s line.

And that arrow travels! It’s only a green-wood bow, good until it dries and loses its springiness, but that dowel arrow flies far enough to give any mothers or roaming wildlife a few tense moments.

Tony is very happy now. And more dangerous, of course.

No Comments »

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a Reply

  • Commercial Zone