Saturday, October 29, 2016

Huntsman of Neff Road

A favorite story. A story for hunting season. A story of a man and a dog. I hope you enjoy it.

Many of our neighbors loved to hunt. One neighbor had an old junker in the back corner of a field where he and his son would sit, waiting for innocent bunnies to pass by. Back then, deer were rarely seen in the neighborhood, so a lot of farmers headed to Michigan and Wisconsin for the hunting season. The killing season.

I only remember Dad going hunting twice. Now before I get too far into this story, I must relate that my father gave me the love of nature, protecting plants and wildlife, and never taking for granted the awe and beauty that God gave me. So here was this same man picking up a gun to go kill one of those soft little bunnies similar to those I had seen covered with fur in a nest. A bit much for a little girl. Perhaps the catalyst that set off my need to question.

It was not as though we needed food on the table (or at least rabbit). My sisters and I raised rabbits. The rabbit hutches were along the side of the chicken pen just across the yard. Hasenpfeffer was readily available. My point here is that I could not get past the loving of little bunnies to understanding the sport in killing one.

So, back to my story, Dad decided to let me go along on one of his local hunting trips. He searched for bunnies; I walked a little behind him talking a mile a minute and tromping as loudly as I could. Thus Dad came home empty handed, but we had a great father/daughter walk. Hm. He was a little grumpy. Maybe I had a great father/daughter walk.

Animal killing trip two. Dad and his faithful cocker spaniel, Whitey, were up early and off to hunt the vicious, cottontailed beasts. I knew that if Whitey saw a rabbit, he would take off after it. Obviously, Dad did not expect much action. A harmless bunny was taking a morning hop when along came the deadly duo. Whitey was soooooo excited that he immediately had a heart attack. Thus Dad came home empty handed....again. Oh, wait. Dad came home carrying the dog. Whitey had a heart condition, so it was big no shock. And, he survived. Dad was grumpy.

Poor Dad. He didn't have boys to join him in the hunt and had the unfortunate luck to have a dog with a weak heart. Personally, I think God answered the prayers of a little girl. God save the bunnies.
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