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The Hunter--Part Two

Caleb Smith Avatar  Send Soup Mail  Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled The Hunter--Part Two which was written by poet Caleb Smith. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Hunter--Part Two

He already knows something is wrong, but he doesn't know what or where. He studies my direction hard, but I'm just a clump of dead wood. A mosquito lands under my eye. Oh, the torture! Don't twitch, Caleb ... don't you dare twitch! Forty yards now ... not quite close enough for a sure kill ... closer now ... thirty yards. I wait for him to turn his head away from me, and raise my bow. But I can't draw, not yet. He's looking at me again. A squirrel catches his attention for a moment ... just enough ... and I slowly draw back. The wood of my longbow creaks a bit at its limit, and his eyes dart to me. No, clever old buck ... I'm just the wind in a tree. He's nervous, but I can't loose the arrow while he's looking at me. He'll dodge it for sure. My fingers ache ... white as dead flesh under the pressure I'm holding back. He looks away, and my arrow flies. The twang is enough warning for him to duck ... he's so fast! But I'm crafty too, and I knew he would duck, so I aimed low. The arrow enters behind his front shoulder, passing through his heart and out the other side. Still, he runs for nearly four hundred yards before his legs give out and he falls. His last breaths are leaving him when I reach the scene, and I mercifully put an end to it with a well placed knife blade. I go to my knees beside him and stroke his coat, in awe of the creature before me. I thank him for his death and meat. I didn't enjoy killing him, not for a moment, but I'm hungry ... and that's the way of it. His blood tastes metallic and hot as I take a bite of his freshly stopped heart, like my ancestors did. I run bloody fingers across my eye, so I might wear his mark and remember his sacrifice. And while I pack his body out to be taken home and shared, to give life back, the other animals will know who I am and what I came for. I am the hunter, neither wasteful nor cruel. I know what feeds my body, and where the life comes from. I saw the life before it was given, and took it as well. One day my own death will come, and the worms will hunt me, giving me back to the plants. Deer will pass, and I pray that I might feed them, just as they have fed me. I am the hunter.

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  1. Date: 5/30/2013 11:09:00 AM
    You definitely can write so vividly but what stood out for me more was your attitude as a hunter. I must say, I had that moment of rooting for the buck (I knew I was wrong, a bear??), admiring the buck's tenacity but also admiring how respectful you are with what you are hunting. Reading this gives me a better insight to how a hunter should be., acknowledging that circle of life and respecting it. And yes, the heart I could picture that vividly. Another gripping and amazing write from you.

  1. Date: 5/27/2013 10:10:00 AM
    And to answer your question, I am loving my new job! Sadly, I'm not a ninja for hire - That would be pretty cool. The weather here is very wonky! In the mornings, it's about 6 degrees (celsius.. not sure what that would be fahrenheit?), and then it's getting up to 35 degrees celsius in the afternoons. So freezing in the mornings and boiling in the afternoons! What the heck?

  1. Date: 5/27/2013 8:56:00 AM
    Part Two is just as impressive! Those last few sentences are really great, Caleb. You remind me of why I love reading so much - I get to experience something through the eyes of another that I would otherwise never even think about.

  1. Date: 5/16/2013 8:28:00 PM
    Very awesome portrayed the right attitude of a respectful hunter...very captivating story.

  1. Date: 5/10/2013 9:42:00 AM
    You are the hunter indeed...Send this in to Field & Stream magazine or something similar to that..."We are sorry to kill you brother. We do honor your courage and speed, your strength" (Chingachgook to the deer killed in The Last of the Mohicans)

  1. Date: 5/8/2013 1:21:00 PM
    This sooo reminds me of when I read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Becoming one with the forest, and realizing the importance of receiving life as well as giving life. I have much respect towards the attitude of this piece... though I wonder if you really ate part of it's heart?

    Smith Avatar Caleb Smith
    Date: 9/3/2013 5:14:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    I love heart....:)
  1. Date: 5/7/2013 10:21:00 AM
    wow, if all hunters had this respect for the kill, it would be so much better for them and for us. Sadly, I think half of them do not think this way. I really enjoyed your story, Caleb. You could send this in to some magazine and I am sure it would get published. Soupmail. (by the way, do you really do the thing with the heart?)

  1. Date: 5/7/2013 9:20:00 AM
    Like Jack... I'm no hunter, but this is a very interesting write. During the depression my Dad (young at the time) hunted to help feed his family... The circle of life presented beautifully. Very insightful. Brilliantly written.

  1. Date: 5/7/2013 8:00:00 AM
    While I'm not a hunter, I can appreciate the act of hunting as you have portrayed it: with skill, cunning and respect for the animal. Clearly there is no intent for a mounted head to trumpet victory, rather the more meaningful acts of respect and taking for food, and large hints of Native American attitudes toward wildlife. Very nicely done, Caleb, as always. Jack

  1. Date: 5/6/2013 5:22:00 PM
    Could see it it all. You write so passionately and vividly. Loved it all, part 1 and 2. Keep up the fantastic work! Always, Laura

  1. Date: 5/6/2013 3:22:00 PM
    I enjoyed your poem today, xxx

  1. Date: 5/6/2013 1:45:00 PM
    Love how this came full circle, Caleb. The hunter and the hunted...I like how you injected respect for life in there. Of course, hunting for sustenance is different than hunting for sport. Great write....Must admit....I was wishing that mosquito would save the day! ;)

    Smith Avatar Caleb Smith
    Date: 9/3/2013 5:16:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Haha...I AM the hunter...even when it comes to giants..;)
    Manassian Avatar Eileen Manassian
    Date: 5/7/2013 4:58:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Well, there goes my theory! I keep telling my students that if they actually had to kill the game that they end up eating...many more of them would become vegetarians! ;) It's sad how commercially animals are fattened up for slaughter....the conditions are appalling, but you obviously put them out of their misery quickly. That does make a difference. Giant soup? Caleb, the hunted rarely outsmart the hunter! ;)
    Smith Avatar Caleb Smith
    Date: 5/6/2013 1:54:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    haha..ok..I'm glad you didn't scold me too bad! And yes, I always hunt for food...I don't enjoy killing anything....well, except the occasional snake that gets too big for his breeches...and if its a rattlesnake, I'll eat him too...