It's difficult to describe the impact that the long box and its contents had on me. It was a dangerous magic I was being given, a talisman of immense power, and something the other kids could be jealous of. Of course I tore the package apart in a kind of frenzy, and oohed and ahhed while Dad smiled, and Mom pursed her lips in that annoying way she had. Clearly, she didn't approve, but Dad and I knew what was going on, and it was important.
To a boy, a BB gun is just like the real thing. It has a hefty weight, the trigger feel, the smell of metal and machine oil, and the action of cocking it was heavenly. Then there was the little cardboard tube of precious BBs that you had to carefully open and position so that you didn't spill them. The act of pouring them down the barrel was fraught with peril, because one little slip could make you lose your ammo all over the bedroom floor. Eventually I got the hang of it, and loaded up my Daisy. I was ready for the world outside.
Just walking around with the gun was a joy. The weight in my hands was intoxicating, and lifting it to my eye and taking aim was unbelievably entertaining. When I got around to actually shooting at a defenseless tree, I was just a little disappointed at the small amount of noise it made, but I learned to love it. Being outside shooting my very own BB gun was more fun than I'd ever had, and Dad knew it. Mom made sure I never pointed it at anyone, and tried to keep me from shooting at birds, to no avail. But one thing I was never able to figure out was, how would I have been able to shoot my own eye out? It seemed impossible, and I never trusted parental warnings about anything again - what hogwash!