We are in the middle of firearms deer hunting season here in Missouri, and the sound of sporadic but persistent gunfire pierces and splinters the rural tranquility morning and evening. The hunters are dressed in their uniforms of camouflage jackets and blue jeans, have fortified themselves with discount beer or other intoxicants, and are roaming through the woods peeing on the trees to mark their territory and firing at anything that moves. Testosterone abounds!
My neighbor has a gutted buck hanging by its heels from a tree in his front yard. What a man! What a great American!
This morning the flow of traffic on Porter Wagoner Boulevard was interrupted as a disoriented wild turkey hen was wandering back and forth over four lanes. Some of the slowing and stopped cars were undoubtedly driven by soft-hearted individuals with genuine concerns for the welfare of the bird, but others, I fear, had individuals at the wheel who were itching to get off a shot or two at the potential Thanksgiving meal - in the middle of town.
Several days ago one of my neighbor's irksome and noisy beagles was run over out in the road in front of their house. The poor thing stayed there, bloating, for most of the day before the neighbor - or the county - saw fit to remove it. A day or two later a large possum was lying dead in nearly the same spot. I took the situation by the tail and hauled the deceased creature to a remote spot on my property where his remains could nourish some of the other wildlife struggling to survive until spring.
I mourn the possum, the dog, the turkey hen, and the gutted deer. Life is hard, and the two-legged fools with their cars and guns make it almost impossible to live in peace and exist with nature.