|Bunny picture from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit|
Another hunting season makes me think of yet another story my father told me. After he married my mother and they moved back to this country after World War 2, my mother's family wanted him to feel like he was part of the family (after a rocky beginning as I wrote about in my post "How Mom got into the RAF"). So, my grandfather and some of my uncles decided to take my father hunting. I don't remember if he'd ever gone hunting before but he certainly knew how to shoot a rifle after being in the service. They started off small and just went in the local area because, back then, there were huge areas of undeveloped fields and woods. He said he enjoyed being with his new relatives and it was a beautiful day. It was fall and the air was fresh and clear. He and my grandfather became great friends and my father really liked my uncles, too. It was going to be a good day.
After quite a while of tramping around the hills of Western Pennsylvania, my father was beginning to think he wasn't going to find any game but then he saw something move and identified it and shot. He'd gotten a rabbit and was very excited. Grandpa and my uncles congratulated him and they retrieved his prize. They had a lot more to do that day, though, and you can't carry it in your hand so they showed him how to tie it onto his belt. At first he thought it was a good idea but when they tied that little bunny's legs to his belt, that was it. He never went hunting again for the rest of his life.
I don't know what would have happened if I had ever asked him to take me hunting when I was a boy. Maybe it was him telling me this story that led me to believe he wouldn't want to do it or maybe it turned me against hunting, too. Whatever it was, I have never gone hunting, either. I remember that in my Freshman year at college I saw a movie about what goes on in slaughter houses and I didn't eat meat for a long time after that, too. But in the end, I just put it out of my mind and went back to my carnivorous ways. My son doesn't eat meat, though. I don't think we'll be going hunting, either.