Witherspoon and Dudley sat quietly in their duck blind on Bagley Pond five miles from town. Witherspoon cared little to be with what he considered his half-witted cousin, but did so out of a sense of family obligation and tradition; they hunted together at least once a year.
Witherspoon wanted the morning to end quickly. So with sunrise and the first sight of ducks overhead he took a steady aim.
Witherspoon missed his first two shots at a duck.
“Go ahead. try it one more time,” Dudley said to Witherspoon. “Third time’s a charm.”
Witherspoon dropped his rifle to his side and glared at Dudley. “That is the stupidest thing that has ever been said. The third time has just as much of a chance as the fourth time and so on, as it does the first and second time. You did nothing but distract my next shot.”
“Now ya got to start over,” Dudley said. “You’ll shoot left, then right, and the third time right in the middle. That’s why the third time’s a charm is scientific. It’s a fact. Besides, it‘s poetic.”
“What if I get it on the second try?” Witherspoon said.
“Hit it the second try, you got a good eye,” Dudley affirmed.
“I can’t believe I’m hunting with you,” Witherspoon said. “But I got to ask, what about the first try.”
“You’re flat out lucky,” “Dudley said. “You get it on the first try, you’re lucky as pie.”
“I thought it was easy as pie,” Witherspoon said.
“That doesn’t even begin to make sense,” Dudley said. “It takes skill to make and bake a pie, but if ya get a pie without workin‘ for it you‘re lucky; lucky as pie.”
As the sound of ducks came from just over the trees, Witherspoon lifted the rifle to his shoulder. He slid the rifle back down to his side. “What if I miss on the third…”
Dudley interrupted. “That makes you a turd.”
Witherspoon gathered all his contempt for Dudley into one stare. “What about five?”
“Who do you think I am Robert Frost?” Dudley said. “It’s not for me to continually feed your literary and intellectual needs. Next time go hunting with a poet.”