The hunter’s speech (or its translation) is poetical…and he gives the eagle a parting gift?  I’m going to cry!

        The landscape looks beautiful and dry like my homeland.  See how clean and pure it is.

        My brother killed a deer and there will be venison steaks to eat for Christmas.  He waited in the tree stand with his rifle.  I can smell the cold air from here, as I write this.  The place where I was born has the best-smelling air on earth and the water is so hard it barely lathers in the bath.  It tastes like quartz and it’s so clear that you can’t tell the depth of the stream.  You could judge it as ten inches deep, and then step into it and find yourself in water up to your hip.

       I said, I hope you didn’t make it suffer.  I am not sentimental and Lord knows I’ve always helped him eat the animals he takes, from chukar to hare to elk to trout, but I have never been entirely comfortable with his hunting.

       (Although really…if I am honest with myself, which of us is the more violent person…?  And why…?)

        I heard him take a drag on his cigarette over the telephone, thousands of miles away.  I pictured his hands.  Everyone in my family has hands as hard and strong as a piece of garden stone from the time we are about fifteen years old (my brother, a lean young man, can crush two walnuts together in his fist).  I am the only exception.  

        “Two shots, Sis.  Not a second apart.  One to the heart and one to the brain.  She didn’t know what hit her.”  

         A bullet to the heart and a bullet to the brain.

        The perfect summation of my childhood. 

4 thoughts on “Hunters”

  1. A good piece of writing, well woven, though sad for all sorts of reasons.

    Just one thing though. One to the heart and one to the brain – the pattern doesn’t have to be repeated. Wherever life takes us, in whatever way, on whatever stage, we can make it different for someone else – a child, a friend, a pupil – so the buck stops, and with it the pain.

    And that way, we win.

    1. Thank you for the compliment, sir. Your writing is practically perfect, so I take your criticism seriously.

      I try to nurture my students. I know I grouse about them on the blog, but I don’t do it to their faces, and I put a lot of effort into grading and editing their essays in order to cultivate their intellects and make them into better writers. When I have an early morning class, I bring them pastry. This semester, one of them changed her major because she wanted to study what I study (though, given that she was a Biology major, that was probably not very prudent, ha ha. I still found it touching.).

      I don’t know if I will ever have children. It is difficult to find a man who will love me.

      My brother lives with a kid and the kid loves him like crazy, though…so perhaps there is potential for me.

  2. Of course you have potential. That student would not have wanted to change her major if you heart had not had something coming from it that had a very strong draw. In those unquantifiable moments when people connect on a deeper level, that causes real change, it is done so with a connection of warmth and compassion that brings growth. That is what kids need. That is what people need, As for the guys, there are men who will love you. They are just hard to find. Keep that sobriety and the types of people around you will begin to change.

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