...A gentle squeeze back on the trigger
and the slug shot straight out for its target,
the buck jerked hard, then he bolted away,
for a second Devin feared he had missed it.
But the stag faltered, then collapsed hard
into the frosted white and brown turf.
Devin breathed fast, frozen as he watched the
deer sprawl out motionless on the cold earth.
When he climbed down and went out to the kill
he still couldn’t believe the shot he had made,
but that young buck lay there before his eyes,
it had been a very successful first day.
As he bent down, and took out a long knife,
he heard new footsteps crunching in the snow,
clad in orange, his grandfather walked up,
“Heard the short, hoped you had laid something low.”
He paused and gave an appreciative nod,
“Quite a deer, and your first time at that!
Guess we better start with the field dressing,
then I’ll help you drag this fine buck back.”
It took a deal of time to dress the kill,
Devin never had done such work before,
but he had to now, to preserve the meat,
so cut through some blood and some gore.
When they dragged the kill back, grandma came out,
said,”Didn’t think he’d score on his first day.
There’s gotta be sixty pounds of meat there,
better hang him up by the barn to drain.”
When that was done they went into the house,
spent twenty whole minutes scrubbing clean,
Gramps was quite impressed, and as a reward
gave Devin a belt from a flask of whisky.
They sat at the table while lunch did cook,
Gramps asked,”How’d you feel when you took the shot?
Devin said,”Nervous, didn’t know what came next,
but I’m happy with the meat that we’ve got.”
Gramps said,”Well, You’ve grown a bit today,
and not because you can make something dead.
Because now you can see what it requires
for a man to keep his family fed.
“It’s not just packages at the market,
it's part toil, part sweat, and part fear.”
Devin just nodded as he heard the words,
“I’ll have to come back and hunt more next year.”
Later gramps smiled, and spoke with his wife,
“I think today really did him some good.
Now if we could only get his father,
away from screens, and back out in the woods...”
Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2018