The hunter

Frison, George W., Jr.



The Hunter As far back as I can remember, my father has always taken his family to his childhood home, in the small town of Coahoma, Mississippi. Depending on the occasion, we sometimes made the trip more than once per year. I welcomed each trip as if it were my first time traveling ever, because I enjoyed the long ride, the view of the countryside and the anticipation of entering my great-grandmother Essie's house, where I knew without question that the world's most succulent pecan and sweet potato pies would be awaiting my arrival. With the exception of the water, everything about the country seemed better to my senses. The view a more simple yet picturesque opposite of the tall steel and brick buildings of the city. Houses were at least a half city block apart, mostly wooden structures, and no more than two stories high. Acres of cotton fields as far as the eye could see, and miles of gravel roads were the norm. Eggs collected straight from a chicken coop and bacon frying from a freshly slaughtered pig permeated the air. The air, oh the air! Free of smog, exhaust fumes, industrial waste and the likes, was always a treat to the nostrils and lungs. My father kept an old .22 rifle at grandmothers. When I was big enough, he'd take me across the road to a nearby ditch, where we'd set up cans and bottles, and he'd teach me how to shoot. Not only did I enjoy this bonding with father, but shooting the gun itself...oh I was hooked! From the process of loading, aiming at my target, to the sound of the soft pop, I loved everything about it. The only part I disliked was when there were no more bullets left to spend. Most, if not all men from the south, had been raised and taught to hunt and live off the land. Based on things my father showed and taught me, I knew early on that he was an outdoorsman & survivalist. Equipped with his 12-gauge shotgun, and accompanied by several of my uncles and older kinfolk, they'd go out on hunting expeditions. I'd beg and plead for him to take me along, but he'd always say that it was too dangerous for me to be out there amongst a pack of shotgun wielding drunks. I didn't want to understand it at the time, but later in life I realized how hard he'd tried to keep his sons out of harms way, in more ways than one. While the men were out hunting, I'd probe around grandmother's house/farm for things to get into, as there were no boys around my age to play with. During these explorations, I found myself behind the house, where the chicken coops were located. There, I'd retrieve a hapless victim from one of the enclosures, find a secluded spot, and mercilessly torture it. I'd break their legs, wings, necks, gouge out their eyes, and then bury them, sometimes still twitching, so that my horrific acts would not be discovered. I do not know if these dastardly deeds were committed out of resentment for my father not taking me hunting, or if it was out of pure boredom and/or curiosity. Nevertheless, it is quite possible that this is where my penchant for violence and maiming began. Every time dad returned from hunting, he'd be carrying a bundle of small animals. Among his kills were rabbits, raccoons, opossums and an occasional pheasant. I'd sometimes help with the skinning & cleaning, but my favorite part was the eating. There's nothing like eating meat from a fresh kill. During the cleaning and eating phases, I'd often drift off into a daydream, wondering how it would feel to be deep off into the woods hunting and bonding with father, helping to bring home the a man! Even at such an early age, I somehow instinctively knew that learning to hunt and live off the land would be a rite of passage into manhood, and something to be even more treasured having experienced with one's father. Even today, watching T.V. shows like Yukon Men and Alaska the Last Frontier, takes me back in time...wishing...wondering...wanting! Fast forward roughly six or seven years later, at the tender age of 14, when I went on to join one of Chicago's most notorious street gangs. On any given occasion, accompanied by one or more of my fellow gang associates, we'd sit around drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. Once our systems were saturated with these mind altering substances, we'd unanimously decide to gather our weapons and go out looking for trouble with rival gangs...just for the fun of it! My most famous used line of suggestion was always..."Let's go hunting." George Frison, IL

Author: Frison, George W., Jr.

Author Location: Illinois

Date: March 20, 2014

Genre: Essay

Extent: 5 pages

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