Monday, July 26, 2010


My Subano friend Custodio Dalaay is blind in the right eye. He lost the eye firing a shotgun he himself made. His shotgun is made of nearly three feet, three fourth inch diameter GI plumbing pipe for the barrel, the butt he himself crafted, the metal works that included the firing pin and trigger was made by a blacksmith in another town. He pushes a bullet into the pipe and his shotgun is ready. It's illegal to make, to own, to possess, a home made shotgun. Factory made shotguns are available at gun stores and can be legally purchased, but Dalaay cannot afford it and so he made his own. His purpose is to guard his corn of monkeys in the day and wild boar in the night. One evening shortly after midnight he heard noises in his corn field, he reach for his shotgun at the head of his bamboo bunk. Like a ghost he went out of the house, his shotgun at fort arm. He edged closer to where the noise came from. There was the pig, dully lighted by the crescent moon eating his corn. He aimed his shotgun, one eye closed, the other open, looking at the sight. He held his breath and fired. The cartridge exploded into his right eye knocking him unconscious. The next morning he was in a government hospital at the provincial capital, right eye on bandage. When the bandage was removed some months later, his right eye was no longer in its socket.

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