Robin Hood I Wasn’t

The smell of freshly turned earth added a pungent aroma to the mild Spring afternoon. Mom and sister worked extra cow manure into the plowed garden furrows as my brother and I practiced archery under the apple trees.

I nocked another practice arrow against the bowstring and pulled back once again. When my hand reached my cheek, I held my breath, let a little out, then released. “Thwang!” went the bowstring. “Pop” went the arrow into the cardboard target. I smiled in satisfaction.

My brother trotted to the tire swing to pull the arrow out of the cardboard we had inserted in the middle. “Give it a little shove,” I told him. “I want a moving target.”

He pulled the arrow, pushed the tire and ran back to me. I took the arrow from him again and prepared to shoot. He had given the swing a big heave that made it move a lot from its former center position. It also had a slight twisting motion that made aiming even harder.

I pulled the bowstring back to my cheek and followed the tire swing’s movement. “Thwang!” went the bowstring, but this time there was no clean “Pop” sound from the arrow into cardboard. Instead, it went inside the circle and missed the square target. The arrow went through the open space at one edge and bounced off the inside of the tire as it passed.

The twisting tire caused a trajectory change we had not anticipated. The arrow glanced from the tire and took a sixty degree course change and hit my sister in the side of her stomach. She screamed in pain and surprise as my brother and I stared in horror at the accident. Fortunately, the arrow had a blunt tip and did not break her skin.

Humans have very strong scent memory. Tell us about a smell that transports you.

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