The summer heat had caused the area to experience an infestation of rattlesnakes.
An infantry platoon was training in the area, learning about methods to counter offensive tactics.
Officers and NCOs were given one magazine of live ammunition each to counter this danger, as several men had already suffered from snake bites.
So much ammunition was expended by the men in shooting, supposedly, at snakes, that the post commander demanded that every officer and NCO who had shot at a snake, present the dead snake as proof that the expenditure of rounds was justifiable.
The next day, the post commander entered his office and spotted a shoe box on his desk.
He opened it, revealing a sleepy and sluggish, but very much alive rattlesnake.
Inside the box were twenty expended cartridges and a short note.
The note said, “I missed!”
Image used under a Collective Commons License from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Western_Diamondback_Rattlesnake.jpg