In going through my grandfather's papers, a photo was found. A photo of my father, much younger, with a big smile, a gun, and a stuffed great horned owl. I grew up with that owl, and a grey squirrel, and a pheasant. Call them the Dead Pets Society. None of the dogs ever got stuffed.
This one photo, among the hundreds or thousands there, was pulled out and brought in the car with us, as three of us headed to a vegetarian restaurant to humor me. While driving, my father proudly told the tale, excitement in his voice, of two young men with guns, and how he got his up first when they spotted the owl. When they reached the owl, her talons were still flexing in death spasms. "They'd put you in jail for that today," I said.
In the states bordering Lake Superior, federal officials are investigating the illegal murder of 16 wolves in November and December--8 in Wisconsin, 6 in Michigan, and 2 in Minnesota which interestingly has by far the largest wolf population among the three states. Not surprisingly, this coincided with the most recent legal murder of deer season, when the woods were flooded with brave men with guns, eager to make the world over the way they think it should be--for them, their convenience, their whim. their dominance.
Some of the bodies were found because they wore radio collars which pinpointed the locations where the green fire left the wolves' eyes. Something I doubt any of the killers ever noticed, more ignorant than their fellow Wisconsinite some 90 years ago. (GreenFire, the movie, coming soon.) No doubt there are more dead, unfound as yet. The commonly heard phrase is Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up, but I think most of these cowards are too lazy to shovel and too drunk to shut up. There's only one thing they're capable of--shooting prematurely.
Last night a friend and I went on an owl hike at a nearby sanctuary. Armed only with flashlights, I got mine up first when we heard the owl. And though it can't compare to the magic of being camped in the UP where the River meets the Lake while someone asks "Who cooks for you?" just above the tent, a hearty "Hoo, hoo" still makes me hot.
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