Out of Town

Hey everyone,

I know I am a Tuesday/Thursday blogger, and in hindsight I should have written some material for you ahead of time, but I am leaving town for the weekend to go to a wedding. My next blog will (hopefully) be a review of The Legacy of Bear Mountain, by Janie Mae Jones McKinley, so that is something to look forward to.

A quick story because you’re all wonderful.

My father is a hunter. He started at seventeen and hasn’t missed a season since. As a kid, my mother, sister, and I would go with my father to my Uncle’s home, where all of the hunting was done.

Thousands of years of evolution as a tribe-people have bred idolization of adults into the brains of children. My father hunted, so I would hunt. That seemed less like an option, and more like the inevitable. My pursuit of adulthood and instance that I could hunt led my parents to by me a training bow.

My training bow was light, compound, and plastic. Arrows were either blunted or specially tipped to catch the grass and ground. I would practice for hours at a time in my Uncle’s backyard, and the current number of arrows I have lost is somewhere in the fifties.

I happened to be shooting one day when I missed. This wasn’t uncommon.  I ran off into the woods, after the arrow.

After a few minutes of looking around, I saw the arrow embedded in the ground on the opposite side of a small creek. I approached to grab it, when I heard a grunt on the other side of the creek

Fear is not something many suburban boys know of. Deer are usually also a mystery. I looked up to see a buck. A large, golden, horned animal much larger than myself. I would like to end the story with “and I killed it and earned my father’s respect as a man”. I can’t, I was eleven. I like to think that was the day I discovered my own answer in the “fight or flight” question.

I was a large kid, and I sprinted out of the woods, back towards the home, and up the hill. I collapsed onto the couch and my mom, aunt, and sister were all staring at me. I told them what had happened.

After their laughing subsided, my mom said “That was the fastest I have ever seen you run!”

I haven’t lived it down to this day.

Best,
J.P.

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