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Willie Young, Rabbit Hunter

(Tractor sounds.)

WILLIE YOUNG: Five, four, three, two, one...they lit it, they just lit it. They lit it, ladies and gentlemen, and we're off to catch us some rabbits.

(Fire crackling.)

My name is Willie Young, I'm thirteen years old.

Do you hear the fire? It smells good. It sounds good. The intensity of the smoke's just burning my eyes. It feels good.

When I first went, I went with my cousin and he taught me how to catch rabbits. And he taught me how to hit 'em with a stick. I hit 'em with the cane.


And they start jumping and I hit 'em again.


Then they just stay on the floor and they can't move no more and eventually they die.

Give me the stick.

Here with me today is my friend Punky.

Hit 'em Punky.


And if it wasn't for him, this wouldn't have been possible. 'Cause, you know, you'll probably need a buddy to help you catch rabbits.

Good Job. So how much we got?

Well, we did pretty good. We got about, I think, eleven rabbits.

Damn I can't believe I let one rabbit get away. Lucky rabbit.

Feel good. It was hot. Fire was burning my eyes, you know, but I had to do it.

Ooh, he burned up a little, too.

Only thing that is on my mind when I be out there is catching rabbits. Nothing else but catching rabbits. 'Cause, you know, got to feed my family.

(Sound of fire fades.)

Producer: Matthew Ozug / Executive Producer: David Isay / Special thanks to photographer Colby Katz.

"Willie Young, Rabbit Hunter" premiered February 11, 2003, on All Things Considered. Copyright © 2003 Sound Portraits Productions. All Rights Reserved.


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This piece is available in the following audio formats [2:01 min]:



Photos of rabbit hunters, by Colby Katz

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