Sunday, 3 December 2017


The hunters got a boar today – I had to kick Lesnik out of his hangover before they got another. We gathered, 20 or 25 or so people, nine dogs, and scouts drove out to locate a herd of boars sleeping somewhere in our forests. Once scouts returned, we were assigned to push the line (six people and dogs) and all of the rest sat at strategic positions to intercept the animals that would run away from us.           
                One of the 'pushers' is so funny – he's a young boy, probably half my age, his father a hunter as well, obviously… He is LOUD. He shouts, screams and curses so loudly, the General made a joke – or not even a joke, more like a remark – that the boy is from these parts, remote and hilly, and they hadn't gotten telephone landlines until recently, so shouting was half of their communication … Fact is, whenever the boars were spooked into running, he would scream and shout SO fervently, ordering the shooters to take aim and the 'pushers' to track the runners and the dogs to make chase…

                The first ten seconds of the hunt, I climbed up from a road into the woods and asked a few times if we're unleashing the dogs yet… I was behind a small hilltop, so I couldn't hear the horn as the wind was in my back. The 'pusher' nearest said 'aye' and I let Lyra go – she offed to find the General again, who a few minutes earlier took another dog to push the line in from the other side of the hilltop and she shook with jealously.
                Something big and dark crossed my path, just as I struggled to get over the snow covered blackberries. I figured it was one of the larger dogs, climbing on. I could see a small cleared-out ‘nest’ just under a near-by spruce, a certain sign of an animal having just slept there. The air was VERY smelly. Not too uncomfortable smelly, but like a lot of putrid, sweet poop everywhere. By the time my brain registered a boar has just gotten right pass me, the boy hunter was screaming at me: “What was that?! What was that?!”
                I … I … think it was… a dog? One of the dogs? No?
                Like I would ever give signal to alert anyone of a boar.
                People that haven’t hunted don’t know much about forest animals – you’d think they are noisy and clumsy. Were it not for the trail in the snow, nobody would ever have any proof there was a fully grown 300 beast just there, underneath our footsteps. Spitting distance. The dogs missed it completely and so did all the marksmen. I may be a little bit immune to scolding, because I am not a ‘real hunter’. Most of the time, if I see an animal, I step being a tree, make no sound and hope it passes quickly.
                After that discouraging incident, the ‘pushers’ cursing and annoyed, I walked a little more carefully, now having proof there is indeed a herd within this range, and every dark patch under every tree looked funny. The next pack we ran into – clever as can be – leapt onto the rocs above us, then stayed perfectly still for a few seconds, so that the boy screaming: “They’re coming back at you!! They’re coming back at you!!” lost sight of them … we all paused, the General yelling back: They didn’t come this way! …. They began to argue and call one another names --
                ... At which point the band changed, running pass the marksmen into the thicker forest and out of our sight.
                How many there were, I don’t know. There was a lot of shooting, we even all had to go back because one got hit, made a sound and bled, but after two hours of looking for it the hounds and the hunters, hard on its snow trail with diminishing droplets of blood, couldn’t catch up to it, so it clearly got away with only a graze.
                A small one they got. Fuck you, Lesnik. Wake up. What was our deal? No fatalities while I am around. I love it that these old farts go out in winter and are very skilled and familiar with the terrain (except the bit where G stepped knee-deep into a sudden puddle) – those hills are beyond beautiful. Just stop enabling their bloodlust. I don’t mind that they hunt. The dogs are adorable when they hunt. I love the dogs. Just do a better job screwing up their riffles.

                After the hunt one of the men arranged for a feast for his birthday, and I stayed behind, very un-feminist-like, while the men hunted, to do the dishes, chatting with the man’s wife. She was a Normal and the whole thing was painstaking. She belittled my achievements, calling them cute little hobbies, and talked to me about art and money and education and the necessity thereof – three years younger than me, a homemaker on a farm with a posh college education. ‘Nobody can just spend all day doing what they want, that’s not how life works’..
                Right. I’ll get right on it.