Monday, December 7, 2015

"Wait for me, Daddy!"

As a child, I never read the book Where The Wild Things Are..... I didn't need to....

My dad is the youngster in front of his dad, beside his uncle, ready to go huntin'...

In our family, coon huntin' has been a pastime for three generations, and a bit of this Americana sport lives on today. Though Dad no longer owns or raises coon hounds, when my cousin stopped by Friday night to run the dogs behind our house, that old sense of adventure became palpable once more, reminding me of my childhood when I walked in the shadow of my dad's footsteps through the woods in the dark. I recalled listening for the bay of the hounds, dodging tree branches that snapped back at my face from my father's shoulders on the path in front of me. 

My son, Ben, age 13, first coon hunt.

Through my childhood, it was my job to handle the puppies and keep them tame before they sold. I knew no other school friends, let alone girlfriends, who'd helped their father's handle show dogs, or sat on a cold cement garage step to watch the hunters skin and tan the furs night after night. At the time, for a young girl who struggled to read, it was more exciting than anything on the bookshelf. 

Dad & Me                                                               Cousin Drew & Emily

So when my cousin, Drew, stopped by Friday night and my husband decided to head to the woods with "the boys" and their dogs, I smiled inwardly when my grown daughter jolted for her boots and hollered "wait for me, Daddy!" 

She came back from the woods smiling from ear to ear. Having been snapped in the face with a tree branch, she'd been initiated into the nighttime ritual of their wildness. She'd heard the bay of the hounds and watched as they scored a catch. The furs are no longer worth what they were when I was a girl, but the adventure is still high. The wildness of tromping through the woods behind your dad and your cousins, still high value. Somewhere on the moonlit path, beyond the light of home and hearth, she'd witnessed the fire and the fun of a hunter's heart. 

She'd understood for a moment, that sacred part of a man's heart--the wild part.
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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  1. What a neat memory, Anne! Deer hunting has always been big in my family, and my husbands, but my memories aren't of being in the woods. My memories are of all the women getting together for the weekend and making treats and watching movies, and the helping process the meat later. Hunting is so much a part of life. It's fun to experience it through your family's eyes. :)

    1. Wonderful, Gabe. We are deer hunters primarily now. I have found memories of the smell of gun-cleaning solvent filling the house the night before opening gun season. Weird, I know, but I love it. And yes, I've helped with years of meat processing. Being connected to your food source somehow keeps it sacred. It makes me gracious. (and grateful we never ate coon! lol).

  2. What great memories. I can relate. My father raised Brittany spaniels, and we spent weekends at dog trials and hunting pheasant and quail. It was my job to de-burr the dogs, and I loved handling the puppies. :)

    1. Oh, the puppies were so much fun! :)

  3. I just love this post! What great memories. I remember being "initiated" in the farm happenings growing up. Helping my dad search for calves in the dark, in the woods, making sure protective mamma didn't get us first. I think it is truly an adventure high that is hard to explain! Thanks for sharing this and making me smile with my own memories.

    1. Oh, that's sounds wonderful, Susan! You are right. It's hard to explain. But treasured for sure.


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