Getting a Deer

adolescent deer playing near the cabin in July

Last week both my friend D and his son-in-law shot a buck in my back field, D one afternoon, the son-in-law two days later. While I’m never excited about death, I found myself feeling faintly relieved. D has been helping me for two years for the “privilege” of hunting on my back acres, and so far that had been an empty exchange.

Dusk was falling when D called to tell me he’d got his deer. I was just about to put dinner on the table. D asked if I would mind giving him a hand. Both Larry and D have come to my rescue so often that I feel duty-bound to help them in return whenever I can. Though I’d never dressed out a mammal, I’ve watched it, and I was pretty sure I could figure it out.

I asked Lucy to dish up supper, and zipped on my coveralls. DH rarely grumbles but he did make a slightly acid comment about hunters who can’t butcher their own kills.

As it happened, we both were wrong in our assumptions. D already had the buck gutted and clean. All he wanted me for was to write out the tag.

Every once in a while, having a schoolteacher on tap can come in handy.

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