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The Hunter's Chronicles - Monday 9th July 2012


It is said 'seeing is believing'. The cloudless sky was such a sight today. I took many photographs, if only to remind myself in the coming days that whilst to us Earth bound mortals it may be raining, one need only to rise high enough to know that no matter how grey the day, behind and above it is always radiant warmth and endless blue sky. This glimpse would be most valued, so I wished it preserved lest the memory fade.



I had no intention of making hay, but I certainly wished to make the most of the Sun shining clear and unobstructed.
Into the ancient woodland I strode, ingesting the sights, sounds and spirits that danced before and around me. (Whilst the rains have brought a bumper crop of Psilocybin mushrooms this year, those I do not, and did not, ingest I can assure you).



The omens were good as I left the path, I had just knelt, when a flash of a rabbit bolting for cover was caught  in my peripheral vision. A most fruitful part of the woodland to be sure. Indeed one only needed to keep his attention and eyes open before fruits were literally uncovered.


Wild Strawberries though rather tart, are in my opinion still very pleasant, and encouragingly prevalent here. It would appear if my potatoes and peas finally succumb to the onslaught from the sky, my family may yet dine on meat, mushrooms and strawberries!

I emerged from the bracken and leaned my head through the hedgerow and just over the fence in order to view what may be dining in the shortest patches of grass. Nothing within range, but at least four currys and stews were nibbling over 100 yards away. I elected to remain in my cover rather than stalk. My late evening energy levels being one factor, the prevailing wind another. My approach would also be risky. To do so back through the woods would require enormous concentration so as not to emit an audible warning, to hop the fence and approach would require equal skill in not providing a visual warning.

Put simply, I couldn't be arsed.

My right eye watered. My vision blurred. Nothing moved. The Sun dipped below the horizon and the yonder currys and stews evaporated with it.

Poo.

I began to calculate when I should break both my cover and the endeavour. Then something moved quickly to my front. In a flash, a Vindaloo zipped from the hedgerow at top speed out into the field. He passed within yards of my position but my goodness he was not going to stop. An errant canine and his jingly collar loped around and soon faded back into the trees.

I just about had enough. Rather than creep back through the obstacles and pointy things in the woods I clambered gingerly over the barbed wire fence and plonked my backside down. A welcome change from the hour spent standing.
My eyes and attention drifted to my phone as I communicated my bad luck. When I glanced up, I was being watched. Perhaps I had been observed for longer than I knew because the Madras had seen enough and promptly disappeared. This produced another flurry of verbalised angst, but it was too hasty. Again, I raised my eyes. The Madras was back. I swiftly and silently raised my weapon and calmly gathered myself.
I knew this would be my only and best shot. I adhered to the marksmanship principles to the letter, and got my reward.




Death was delivered speedily and precisely. In the back of the head between the ears and out to the front behind the eye.

Massaged and bagged. Patak's friend and I sauntered home along the old drovers road that runs through the trees. It is an exceptionally old track. My mind was transported to times past when a traveller along this same road at this very hour would have quite possibly been seen as nothing short of a suicidal fool. My memory conjured the many legends that surround this place.
The hangman who once plied his trade at this junction (the custom and rationale being that the spirit of the victim would forever wander the earth lost and confused between this and the afterlife).
One dark night he was summoned to execute two whimpering, pathetic beings. The first was dispatched swiftly, the night being unpleasant and the hangman keen to return to the warmth of his bed, his skilled and practised hands made short work of the deed in the darkness. The second struggled and fought, scratching at him, begging, imploring him to stay his hand, but it was to no avail.
Curious as to why this one was so keen to live, the hangman, despite the inclement weather and driving rain, paused to lift the hood. The light of his lantern revealed his deepest, darkest, fear to be brutal and plain reality. The second victim who's life he had so swiftly ended... was his only son.
The hangman, mad with grief, returned to his cottage, drove a spike in the wall and turned the noose upon himself. It is said the cottage still remains, one wall still standing and from it, high towards the top, protrudes the nail.

The other legends I will tell, another time.

Thankfully I arrived home safely and in one peice, though it was touch and go as the mud nearly claimed my welly!

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