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little boy shooting arrow with bow
ALL HIS MIGHT: Graham’s first few attempts were off-target, with arrows winding up on the roof and in a pine tree.

Thank goodness for fake arrows!

Front Porch: My grandson’s first try with his Christmas bow-and-arrow set was a bit off the mark.

If his mom heard it once, she heard it a hundred times. The No. 1 thing her son, our grandson Graham, wanted for Christmas was a bow with arrows. But if Santa couldn’t bring that, he would settle for a BB gun.

Graham is 9. The BB gun was out. His mom didn’t want to risk a brother or sister getting shot in the head, accidentally or otherwise, with a BB.

She wasn’t crazy about the bow and arrows, but she saw that Nerf made a set with arrows with plastic shafts and soft tips. It was named after Dude Perfect, whoever that is.

Meanwhile, Graham was lobbying for the real thing — but said he would settle for metal blunt tips for target practice. He even dragged me over to the sports counter at Walmart to show me. I must admit, Santa could have saved some big bucks — no wonder that Dude Perfect character is raking in the dough!

Christmas target practice
Graham was pumped when he ripped off the paper and found the Dude Perfect bow-and-arrow set at our house on Christmas morning. Mom was all smiles.

My old high school classmate Dennis came by for brunch that day. While Graham headed outside to try his new bow and arrows, we lingered over doughnuts and orange juice.

“Grandpa, can you come help me?” That’s never a good sign. The bow-and-arrow set came with two arrows. His mom had bought three extra arrows.

“What do you need, Graham?” I asked.

“An arrow is stuck on the roof,” he said sheepishly. At least it wasn’t “in” the roof.

“And there’s one in the pine tree,” he added.

“Graham, you’re shooting at a target 4 feet off the ground,” I said. “How could you get arrows on the roof and in a tree?”

“I guess I let go too soon. Oops!”

“Oops” is never a good sound, either.

“Now there are two in the tree,” Graham reported. “And this one is sort of high.”

Sort of high? You think, Graham? It was up about 20 feet, stuck in branches.

Then … “Oops!” Not again! Now there were two arrows on the roof.

Using the last arrow, I showed him how to get near the target. Meanwhile, I grabbed a stepladder and Dennis, and I went to work.

Grandpa at work
We got the two arrows off the roof without getting on the roof. I don’t do roofs!

I used a broom handle while standing on the stepladder to knock one out of the tree. There was no way to reach the last one with the broom handle. Fortunately, I remembered our son, Daniel, had fashioned a long pole out of a long-handled tree-trimming device to hang Christmas lights. Even better, I remembered where it was. I used it last to get Daniel’s toy drone out of a maple tree. Kids! Grandkids!

Dennis held the ladder. I went one step higher than I would’ve liked, but reaching up with the pole, and with Dennis guiding me, I tapped the arrow and it fell.

“Let’s keep them on the ground, Graham,” I said.

Before long he was hitting the bull’s-eye. “Maybe I can get that set with the dull points next,” he said.

“Someday, I might get it for you,” I answered.

“Someday” could be when he’s 21!

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