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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My most precious possession

My most precious possession

My most precious possession is a bullet. Well, to be more accurate, it is a bullet that has been fired from a revolver. It no longer has the normal shape of a bullet. It looks more like a twenty sen coin now. It became shaped like this after it hit a metal post in the shooting range.

Our possessions are usually what we intentionally went out to get. In the case of this misshapen bullet it was not so. I never intended to get it nor think it would become my most precious possession. Things sort of just happened without my trying.

It began one day about a year ago when my brother took me to the shooting range. He is a keen member of the local gun club and sometimes I tag along with him when he goes for shooting practice. It was on one of these occasions that I got this precious possession.

I was watching him shoot some targets with his 0.38 revolver when he asked me whether I would like to have a go. I grabbed the opportunity. I had never fired a gun before in my life and was always waiting for an opportunity like this. First he showed me the safety procedure. Then he showed me how to shoot the pistol.

So I followed his instructions and held the revolver in both hands. I took aim at a man-shaped target some distance away and pulled the trigger. I heard a loud crack even though I was wearing earmuffs. I saw the bullet hit a metal post way off the target. I even heard a soft “ting” as the bullet struck the post and rebounded. My brother reminded me to hold the gun more firmly so that the bullet went where I was aiming at. I corrected myself and tried again. The second time I was more successful. I hit the target. Feeling a bit more confident I fired the revolver until it was empty. Out of five shots I hit the target with three. It was quite good for my first go at shooting.

My brother took the revolver back and continued his shooting practice. After the practice we went over to the target to see how well he had done. He did not do too bad at all.

While we were examining the target my eyes came upon a tiny grey object on the ground. Out of curiosity I picked it up. It was a flattened bullet, the result of the bullet’s collision with a metal post. I showed it to my brother. He said it was the first one I fired that hit the metal post. I looked at it with disbelief. Here was the result of my first shot with a pistol. How many people get to keep the first bullet they ever fired? Perhaps I was the only one.

So I decided to keep the bullet as a memento. It is still with me to this day.

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