By Paul Allen

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Sample text

Nineteen, twenty feet and he'll know you're there and try to get away. That one will bring a hundred in to you, and you'll get your fill of shooting, all you want.  Hide her, like. But let a shot crow, dead or hurt, just lay.  What about "He had to eat crow," when they mean embarrassed and having to take back something he spoke out? " Did you know that? Now there's a human word if ever was. ) I don't know if crows can really talk, but they know what to say if they're a mind. Don't matter.  More than most animals, crows just: can't decide how to live.

I learn now that giving up is not a matter of giving up. There is paddling slowly for all I am worth, tossing whichever arm wills toward air, dropping it, kicking one leg, letting the other leg drag to a state, to a kind of dream of paddling, of trees over my arm. Even the real at the end of the dream is a dream my foot touching the feathers of tree limbs, snags, then the thudding hump of land in a warm spot. Such a let down coming out is, crawling to the three who are laughing, leaning back in six inches on their elbows.

Choke. My privates are shrinking, and it's not funny.  The slender arms I wished for dry have turned on me, like all prayers, into a horror of slapping saplings falling on no meaningful water. I learn now that giving up is not a matter of giving up. There is paddling slowly for all I am worth, tossing whichever arm wills toward air, dropping it, kicking one leg, letting the other leg drag to a state, to a kind of dream of paddling, of trees over my arm. Even the real at the end of the dream is a dream my foot touching the feathers of tree limbs, snags, then the thudding hump of land in a warm spot.

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