Monday, December 9, 2013

Hey big vendor

"A curt voice echoed in Nathaniel's head,
'Prep for impact. This is going to hurt.'"

-- Jonathan Marker, Spyder Silk

Toy duck calls in a vending machine 12-9-13

"Shoot me again! I enjoy it! I love the smell of burnt feathers,
and gunpowder, and cordite!
I'm an elk! Shoot me, go on! It's elk season!
I'm a fiddler crab! Why don't you shoot me? 
It's fiddler crab season!"
-- Daffy Duck, "Duck, Rabbit, Duck!"

Toy duck calls in a vending machine(2) 12-9-13

 "If you must mount the gallows,
give a jest to the crowd, a coin to the hangman,
and make the drop with a smile on your lips."

-- Robert Jordan

In a little twist of irony, I was hunting these duck faces while my husband and son were hunting real ducks.

I got two, they got four.

They like to hunt, and I'm OK with it. It's their thing, which is cool. And I don't usually mind if they bring home pheasant or goose or turkey or rabbit, but the ducks made me a little sad. Usually they field dress whatever they shoot, but it had grown too dark to see, so they brought the ducks home to butcher in the garage.

It was a little surreal seeing up close the four mallards they'd shot, three males and a female. They were still beautiful and glossy and colorful and perfect, except for the blood running out of the places where the steel shot had peppered them. 

I had mixed emotions.

I was happy for the guys because it was their first successful duck hunt and they were totally stoked.
I took the requisite photos of them, father and son smiling, all manly and proud in their camouflage, holding up their quarry, which hung limp and lifeless from floppy necks, and thinking "This is the kid I read Make Way for Ducklings to at least a million times when he was little?"

Who woulda thunk?

I gave them each one of the little plastic duck calls that I'd photographed in the drug store vending machine, as a prize, to show these hunter/gatherers that the female of the tribe acknowledged their victory.

The duck meat is now in my basement freezer. I will eventually cook it for the guys, just as I cook all the other wild game they bag and bring home. They'll eat it, because one of our rules is you can't shoot it unless you plan to eat it, or can find someone else who will (they stockpile skinned squirrels that look like little frozen fetuses, for a grateful lady named Edna, who grew up in the deep south and says things like "sho nuff.") 

I'll probably stick with vegetables.

Like Walter Cronkite said, "The perils of duck hunting are great -- especially for the duck."