This is a short story that Dad told me many times over the years.
During the late 20’s and early 30’s, Dad used to stay at one of his cousins farm in Kenefick Bottoms, just north of Dayton, Texas. The farm was in the Trinity River bottom, deep in the East Texas woods. Dad always said that this place was in the middle of some of the wildest country he had ever been in, and that’s saying a lot, coming from Dad. The place was full of wild critters, which Dad and his cousins, both the Maduzia and Polka boys, loved to hunt. As I remember the story, Joe Maduzia and his wife Mary owned the farm. Joe’s son, Robert Lee, was fairly close to Dad’s age. Dad’s cousin, Joe D Polka, who was the younger brother of Joe Maduzia’s wife Mary was living there with them at the time. Joe D was a few years older than Dad and Robert Lee.
Anyway, Dad, Robert Lee and Joe D had been hunting all day and came in late. They were tired, so they just left their shotguns leaning against the wall in the room that they all slept in. The farmhouse had windows, but no screens and since it was summertime, the windows were left open to help cool the house. There was also no electricity in the house. Sometime around midnight, the boys were awakened by a wild animal that had wandered in through an open window and was crawling around on their bed. It was dark and they couldn’t see what it was, so Robert Lee grabbed one of the shotguns that they had left leaning against the wall. As he picked up the gun, it went off and blew a big hole in the roof. They never did see what kind of animal had come in the room since it probably left as quickly as it could when it heard the gunfire. Dad was pretty sure it was just a nosy coon looking for something to eat.
Now, there is a little controversy about who actually shot the hole in the roof. Dad, Robert Lee and I had a short discussion about the incident at Aunt Sophie’s funeral. Robert Lee confirmed that the basic story was true, but he said that it was actually Joe D that shot the hole in the roof. Dad didn’t budge with his version of the story and simple said that Robert Lee was wrong. I’m sure that Robert Lee was as equally sure that Dad was wrong. I guess we will never know who actually shot the hole in the roof.