Perhaps I should consider moving to the shore. Maybe I can find a small community of families who have built their lives around the water and the creatures that live there. Maybe I will get a small boat, and learn how to catch those tasty crabs, or learn how to fish a bottom rig for flounder. Or I might buy a surf rod and get the locals to teach me the secrets of catching those big striped bass as they pass by the shore twice a year. If I move to the shore, I want to embrace the people there and their traditions and learn everything I can to be a part of and to continue the tradition and culture of the region. Yes, perhaps I should move to the shore.
Or, maybe I should remember the wise words once told to me by my father:
“Son, you should not try to teach a pig to sing. It will only frustrate you, and it wastes the pig’s time.”
I think I will become physically ill if I have one more person who has discovered the beauty of Rappahannock County approach me and begin the conversation with, “Now, Richard, I’m not opposed to hunting, but . . .” Please do me and yourself a favor. Do not compound the original falsehood with two columns worth of hunting safety statistics that Google has provided you, that are only tangentially related to the question at hand. And spare me the proclamation about the Constitution and your love of the Second Amendment. It is small wonder that half the county citizens haven’t been killed, drawn and quartered by the bloodthirsty hunters.
I have always thought of myself as a man who tries to obey the laws of the land. If you have people hunting on your property without your permission, call the authorities. If you have people shooting around your property in a reckless fashion, whether or not they are on your property, do something about it. We have a good sheriff’s department. Use them. Prosecute. Don’t curse the darkness; light a candle.
To me, it seems the height of . . . what word to use here . . . perhaps, irony – yes, it seems to me the height of irony for an individual to seek out the most rural, least populated county in the commonwealth, and then make his home high in the mountains, nay, on top of the mountain, surrounded, in every direction, for hundreds of yards, with woods and thickets and briars where the wild creatures dwell, and then proclaim, with appropriate astonishment, “There are people hunting all around me.”
The children of the digital age have a word for this: DUHHH!!
If I could paraphrase the words of Chief Seattle of the Duwanish tribe of Native Americans, perhaps it is because I am old and savage that I do not understand the ways of the white man who has come to occupy my home.
Or maybe I should start a movement. For the whole month of February, we celebrate the movement of a brave people who were discriminated against in every walk of life. And they started a movement of civil disobedience that ended in making our country a stronger, more unified place. Perhaps, I should get a bunch of good friends together who might want to go hunting next Sunday. Or, perhaps, I should just move to the shore. (But don’t hold your breath.)
You can email Richard Brady at firstname.lastname@example.org.