Be Eager  But Never Forget The Warning

E. L.Teddy

Copyright 2021 by E. L. Teddy

Photo of a wild boar.

I was a third class citizen then. Nothing to buy food, talk less of saving in bank. My Dad was a palm wine tapper. He goes out into the mangrove three times a day: morning, afternoon and evening to tap his wine. At his leisure time, he takes his gun(Rimfire rifle) out for hunting.

I was 18 years old and I grew to love pastoral life which I grew to find myself with passion. I was so interested in hunting and so I troubled Dad until he educated me on how to use the gun which I understood faster than expected because it was in the blood to know.

I began to go alone into the forest for hunting, especially when Dad was out. He wasn't against me hunting but was afraid of me being attack by wild animal(s). I remember him telling me he once encounter a wild boar, and that he was good enough to escape narrowly, and that even when he set a trap for it, it (the wild boar) was too smart to be caught. I listened to Dad as if he was telling me one of the story he read when he was still very tender. It became so entertaining that I lost the message.

Something happened one day, a thing that will ever remain in my memory. I had a usual joyous day, Dad was out to attend a community meeting, mum had gone to farm with my siblings ; I was the only one in the house. And then I felt it was a very good time to hunt, so i took the gun(Rimfire rifle), opened Dad's hunting bag(a hide), only to see just one bullet. I took the bag and set off into the forest. It was about 4:30 pm.

I rallied round the forest with no signs of anything animal. When I discovered the sun was fast setting, I thought of going a little miles away in search of animal, and if nothing comes out, I return back home.

When I walk miles away from where I was, I began to hear sounds (snorts). I quickly tiptoe, hiding myself at the back of a tree closer to me, and I fixed my eyes in the direction at which the sounds proceeded out. As a ready hunter, the gun was well set. By this time, the forest was dark already: forest gets dark faster than.... So I brought out touch, hold it without switching it on yet.

As I waited patiently for my target, I saw a certain animal with trunk coming out of the bush. I switch on the touch, pointed it at my target, hmm, it was beyond something I could stand, it appearance was scary, I never saw such thing before. I pulled the trigger immediately and it ran into my target. But it didn't died instantly as expected. That was how I knew that it was in the company of many other boar which I myself could not tell because the ground was unconducive for me when I discovered that my target was yet alive. I switched off the touch as I also looked for where to hid myself.

I perceived within me that my mum may have fainted again and again by no. Knowing that I went for hunting and I'm not back is worse than knowing that her loving son died some years ago. But what will I do.

I climbed the tree beside me and raised on it as I watched them searching for me, snorting harder and harder, destroying every little plant that looks like someone was beneath it, chanting around the tree I climbed as if they were going to pull it down. My heart had already melted as I now recalled Dad's warning about going for hunting alone, and then something told me it wasn't a fable, what Dad said was true, it's now crystal clear.

Before then, I had never seen a boar, but I was well conversant with Domestic Pigs. What I saw looked more like a domestic pig, only that this very one had a trunk.

I spent the night on that tree, though some hours later I did not hear anything again, those sounds were gone, the forest was so silent. I thought of finding my way home but fear grips me so much. I had no option than to stay.

When it was dawn and the forest was very clear, I stepped down from the tree, looked around the area, but I did not see anything, not even the one I shot. I only saw blood sprinkled on leaves. I rushed home as fast as my legs could carry.

When I got home, mum and my siblings had almost cried the eyes out, Dad could not say a anything. The news of my dismissal had gone viral. When they saw me live came into them again but Dad was still silent, longing to hear my own side of the story, knowing very well that he warned me.

When Dad finally broke his silence, I told him what happened to me, he remain speechless again for some couple of minutes. When he opened up again, he asked, "why did you not take my warning?" I could not say a word. The next question he asked me was: so where is the animal you risked your life for? I then told him I shot the animal but I could not fine it.

So Dad called his friend who was also a hunter, I then took them to the scene of the whole thing as we begin to search for the missing animal using the droplet of blood on the leaves. Going a little further, we arrived at a certain place where the ground was broken, there also the blood droplet stops. We dug the ground and behold, the very animal I shot was buried there.

Everything baffled me, the whole thing became complicated as I asked my Dad what happened. I could remember Dad telling me that Wild boar does bury members of their company should anything goes wrong (probably).

Since then, I greatly fear hunting and my love for pastoral life fades.

E. L. Teddy is a 23 year old creative writer from AkwaIbom State, Nigeria.  He holds a National Diploma(ND) Certificate in Public Administration, and Is currently working on his Higher National Diploma(HND) still in Public Administration.  He is a wordsmith, and is fully into Poetry though hasn't published before.

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