Dad used to take us out hunting. To him it was quality time for boys to become men. I can’t say I enjoyed it and neither did my brother. It was great seeing nature’s beauty in the great outdoors but did we have to kill it, enviscerate it and then lug the bloody thing all those miles home?
When we finsished High School, I went on to study psychology at Uni and my brother studied maths to become a statistician. Dad was appreciative of my studies – the world was full of crazies, in his opinion. However he had a problem coming to terms with my brother’s study of statistics. In Dad’s view, something was or wasn’t and the concept of anything in between, was beyond him. After spending hours, my brother gave up trying to explain statistics to Dad.
To please Dad we agreed to go out hunting one day but, both being conservationists now, agreed we would not kill anything. That was a pretty sure bet that nothing would die that day, Dad had developed a slight palsy and shook too much to handle a gun now. The day dawned perfect for hunting, fine with a light mist rising from the ground, that would soon burn away, leaving moist green succulent shoots for the deer to nibble.
After walking a mile or so, we spotted a magestic big buck in a clearing. I took the first shot and aimed low. We saw the bullet hit the ground about 20 metres short of the stag. He raised his head and we froze. Incredibly he just went on grazing. He didn’t bolt!
My brother took his gun and fired high, hitting a tree about twenty metres behind the deer. At the sound of the bullet hitting the tree, it bolted back into the bush. Dad didn’t cuss, like we expected. He was silent all the way home.
When we arrived home Mum asked if we shot anything. Dad said how my shot landed 20 metres short and my brother’s was 20 metres long, grinned at my brother, then added, “So statistically speaking, yes, we shot a big stag.”