So one of Louise's main birthday gifts was a bow. (The "Lil Banshee" — love that name.) It's kid-sized, but it's the real deal, a compound bow, basically a smaller version of the sort that my Virginian hard-core hunter uncle used. (Don't worry; I lectured her endlessly on proper safety protocols, the same sort of lectures I received as a kid when learning to shoot guns.)
You might wonder why an eleven-year-old city girl wants a bow, but if so, then you probably haven't read or seen The Hunger Games, whose protagonist, Katniss, is a bad-ass young gal with some serious archery chops. The books made a big impression on Louise and spawned her new interest in archery. She's not alone. Her friend came over this past weekend for a play date — is it still called a "play date" with eleven-year-olds? — and brought her own longbow. The two young ladies spent hours in the back yard, honing their skills.
(Personally, I fully support her interest. When the imminent zombie apocalypse arrives, she's going to save our butts. Everyone else in New Orleans will be blasting away at the undead with pistols and assault rifles, but of course noise attracts zombies. So as gunfire draws the creatures into Central City — the adjacent neighborhood with a probably unparalleled arsenal of illicit weapons — we'll sneak out the other way, with Louise on point, silently taking out any zombie threats.)