We spent the earlier part of Shooters life on the trapline with my dad. We would spend hours and days checking and resetting traps with my dad, Which always made for hours and hours of skinning once we got back home. Any friends that happened to show up would often get a crash course in skinning so they could help out. If mom wasn't home, the lesson was held at the kitchen table, if she was we were banished to the skinning shed. When you first start skinning, dad always makes you do the weasels, and when you are good at that, you graduate to martins, and when your really good at that you get to keep moving up the line. If you have ever smelled a weasel you know the importance of moving up that ladder very quickly. They stink beyond stink. It is a horrible smell. I can almost loose my breakfast remembering it right now. Anyways, my brother was at the point where he was agood enough to skin whatever he wanted and he would tease me because I was still on the little animals. So I bugged and bugged until one day dad let skin a beaver. Graduation day is so exciting. I was sticking my tonuge out at my brother in my head as my dad was explaining how and where to start, and how to hold the knife (which is, for the beaver is a razor sharp, hooked blade on a little handle). He kept saying, "Do you got it?, are you paying attention?" And I was, in between my mental happy dance at not being subjected to stinkergarten anymore. He handed over the knife, I gave one last, smart ass look my brothers way, cut half way around the beavers foot, and half way around my middle finger. I dropped the hook knife, held my finger up, as it hung slightly cockeyed to the right. And said, "oh my god, I just cut my finger off." My dad never missed a beat, he took the knife from my hand, and immediatly took over skinning the beaver as if I had been performing a life saving operation on it and not a second could be spared and said " See, I told ya you couldn't do it" My brother, was over at his beaver stand laughing. I was still standing there with my mouth open, holding my finger on, when my mom came out, called them jerks and we raced to the hospital Where I had to explain what i was doing when this accident happened. Nurse after nurse kept coming in to look at it and say "and how did this happen?" as if my chart was just being filled out for the first time. After a few laughs, stiches, bandages, and big ol tetanus shot, I was good to go.... right back to stinkergarten.... weasel skinning 101.