Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Great Hunter

Hunting, it's a primal sacred practice that speaks to our animal selves. For men there is no greater feeling of manhood then to have provided food for the community in which they live. It doesn't matter if it's a couple of friends or a gathering of many. I've hunted off and on since I was a kid, and I've got my share of stories, but none compare to the experience of my friends Bob and George. I worked with both of them in another life, back in the dark days of being a math teacher (they still teach math). I'd known Bob for a couple of years before George came on the scene, he was a mentor to me. I played poker at his house, drank beer with him and hunted (not necessarily at the same time). When George arrived Bob was officially assigned as his mentor (I'd been assigned to a kid younger than myself with 1 year of experience when I started teaching... thank god Bob was there to help out). I don't remember exactly when the great hunt happened but I'm sure it was in the Winter. It was Georges first time hunting with Bob, and I remember talking about it with him beforehand. George wasn't much of an outdoorsman, his idea of sports was tennis, horse racing, and betting on games through the sports book. I went about my normal routine that day, nothing special until about dusk. That was when George came knocking at my door. He was carrying a large black trashbag that looked heavy. Success in the hunt... good for him! I invited him in and we proceeded to the kitchen so he can show me his take. So in comes George smiling ear to ear carrying this big bag. You can't imagine my surprise as he went into narrative about the adventure. They'd gone down by the river, (nothing surprising about that, Bob always hunts down by the river) and had a pretty good time, but they hadn't seen any game. It was about this time than George starts opening the bag... out of the bag he starts handing me cauliflower, cabbage, oranges, lemons and tangelos. The great hunters had spent more time gathering fruits and vegetables in the fields near the river than hunting... did I mention the beer on Georges breath? I suppose it's just as well they didn't try to shoot anything!

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