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Location: Midwest, United States

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Pheasant

I stood over the pheasant lying prostrate, bewildered, in the corn stubble.

No living thing can predict the moment of its demise.

Just minutes before, this beautiful bird had sprinted skywards to escape the jowls of a predator hound...a “gun” dog...trained to find and flush feathered prey. That handsome, tireless, canid was dedicated to purpose. Amazing in instinct and insight.

The pheasant fled towards the sun.

I watched startled the fluttered colors ascend. Raised gun to shoulder. Pulled the trigger.

Wings akimbo, rainbow fell to earth.

Shotgun cradled in crook of arm, I crunched my way down slope to where the plumage lay.

There was blood. There was shock and suffering. The pheasant looked at me and blinked in dumbstruck agony.

There was little else to do but snap the spine and haul the cadaver home.

So I did just that.

And plucked the feathers from the carcass.

Prepared a traditional Basque stew with noodles and prunes.

And as I supped in silence, a lead pellet lodged between my teeth.

Lead, you see, is poison.

I think back on all this now and reflect:

How appropriate.

* * *


Blogger RNSANE said...

I can picture it all, taste the delicious stew, and feel sad at the demise of this beautiful bird.

Thu Apr 21, 04:24:00 AM  
Blogger Lilith said...


Thu Apr 21, 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

The price you pay for the life you take? I've never gone hunting but my father did and I've dined on many a roasted duck. Your pheasant sounds delicious!!

Thu Apr 21, 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Wine and Words said...

Oh gawd Jonas! I'm mostly vegetarian...for health reasons, not so much for the critters. I've had steak, chicken, and know they were only on my plate because someone else did the dirty work of killing. I believe they were put here as part of the food chain, but you had me so aligned with the bird. Sucker punched me in the gut. It's beautiful eye framed just so in the cross hatch of grass. *sniff*

Thu Apr 21, 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Selma said...

This made me a litle teary too but it was very beautifully described. And it did sound delicious.

Fri Apr 22, 03:49:00 AM  
Blogger PattiKen said...

You captured the irony of the moment very well. While I am no vegetarian by any stretch, if I had to kill my dinner, I'd starve, I think.

My nephew tells a story of being taken deer hunting the first (and last) time. He was in his 30s, and a customer had invited him. He was set up in a blind in a beautiful wooded spot, and told, "The deer will come by. You just take aim and fire. That's all there is to it."

That was not quite all there was to it. The deer came by. He took aim and fired. And then he cried. The next day, they went back. He waited in the blind. The deer came by and he took aim and fired... with his camera.

Fri Apr 22, 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you, RNSANE. You caught my drift.

Yes, Lilith. There's irony here. Contradictions and conflicts, too.

It's quite complicated, Ponita. Pleasure and pain. Reverance and revulsion.

Believe me, Annie, I was "aligned with" the bird, too. It's hard to explain.

Thank you, Selma.

I know I'm gonna bollix this up, Patti, but here's the thing:

I killed my dinner in order to understand what it all meant.

Tue May 03, 12:56:00 AM  

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