James, my grandpa, is a 75-year-old African American man who grew up in the South. This story took place in St. Joseph, Louisiana, in the late 1950s when James was about 14 or 15. He was out hunting with his cousin at night with both wearing head lamps to see.
“We was hunting one night till we saw, at the fence, there was this rabbit on the other side of the fence. And he was white. I guess we were about 10 feet away from him. My cousin shot at him – *pow*–that thing didn’t even move. I said ‘Boy you must have missed it; let me shoot it.’ So, I shot – *pow*– he didn’t move! I said ‘I know I hit that thang!’ We went to the fence and looked. I said ‘There’s got to be some blood somewhere on the ground.” Wasn’t no blood on the ground so he just hopped right on away. Then we ain’t seen him no mo.’”
Upon asking James if this was a ghost story, he wholeheartedly agreed that it was. “Yea, I believe that was a ghost. Ain’t no way we would have missed that thing that close. And no blood on the ground? Nah, we didn’t hit him. Whatever it was, we didn’t hit him. It wasn’t real. That’s for sho’.’”
I fully believe James’ story as I heard stories of him being a very capable and accurate hunter when he was younger. Hunting was necessary for putting food on the food during this time; for two teenage boys who had been hunting for years to miss such a close target and for the animal not to be scared off or injured is suspicious to me. Additionally, my grandpa has never been an overly superstitious or an easily frightened man.