The arrival of Fall and the shortening of the daylight hours have Riley and I doing our morning routine of food and fetch under the stars. We play quietly, for the most part, as the first rays of sunlight slowly brighten the eastern sky. Usually this gives me time to think about the never ending to do list. But, with the Country Boy having been gone for nearly two weeks, I have mainly been thinking about him.
That’s when I noticed it.
Directly above the barn, looming large above the pastures, has been Orion, The Hunter. Brighter than bright (thank you middle of nowhere night sky), it has been as if Orion was guarding over us while our other hunter was away. I also hoped that it was a sign of success for my man with a bow.
It certainly was a sign of hunting prowess for Nala. I think the chipmunk and mouse population have taken a major hit in the last two weeks. She’s brought us multiple “trophies” in one afternoon. She’s prowling and pouncing every moment. She’s becoming a hunting machine.
OK Orion, I thought, nice work here. Now bring that skill out to Colorado.
That night the phone rang. Using a satellite phone, my Country Boy called with a downright giddy voice to say that they were having a nice campfire dinner that night.
I took the bait. “You are? What are you eating?”
“Elk!” (That’s when I did a silent prayer of gratitude. Trust me, you don’t want to be around a hunter who keeps mules, travels 25+ hours with them to the wilderness of Colorado, camps under a tarp eating dehydrated meals for two weeks and isn’t successful. The sound of disappointment in his voice when he finally comes out of the wilderness is nearly as bad as the smell of his gear.)
Now considering that this man of mine has successfully hunted three good sized elk before, I was a little surprised at how much of a kid-at-Christmas-time sound he had in his voice. But, before we could go too far into our conversation, the satellite connection died only 3 minutes in. And my phone was silent the rest of the night.
We could only speculate on what was happening. It wasn’t until a fellow hunter, a cousin who could only stay the first week, came out of the mountains and back into the world of technology that we got a fuller picture.
A much fuller picture.
A holy-moly-what-are-we-going-to-do-with-THAT picture.
An I-need-to-clean-out-the-freezer picture.
A…ok, I think you get what I’m trying to say. How about I let you see for yourself…
See what I mean?! It was 900 pounds! I don’t think our ceilings are tall enough for that monster when it is mounted.
Unless we put it on the wall in the stairwell.
Of course, can you imagine being half asleep in the morning and coming face to face with a giant elk head? Unless my medical coverage gets much, much better we had better scrap that idea and come up with some others.
In the mean time, all squirrels, birds, chipmunks and mice better stay clear of Nala.
As for the cows of the world, our family won’t need any red meat for quite some time so you’re safe from our dinner plates.
Now you’ll have to excuse me. I need to clean out three freezers as well as get the clothes washer ready for some very ripe hunting gear.
Does anyone know if earplugs work in your nose? Just asking…