Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What Happened to Him When He Was a Boy?

As usual, the Writer's Almanac does not disappoint.  I love when each day's installment shows up in my inbox.  This offering from Sunday 2 Oct was a good one.
The notion of killing living organisms for sport--for sport--appalls and horrifies me.  I will never understand it.  Never.

Game, by Maxine Kumin

Before he died
Archduke Franz Ferdinand,
gunned down in Sarajevo
to jump-start World War I,
bragged he had shot three
thousand stags and a miscellany
of foxes, geese, wolves, and boars
driven toward him by beaters,
stout men he ordered to flush
creatures from their cover
into his sights, a tradition
the British aristocracy
carried on, further aped
by rich Americans
from Teddy R. to Ernest H.,
something Supreme
Court Justice Antonin
Scalia, pudgy son of Sicilian
immigrants, indulged in
when, years later, he had
scores of farm-raised birds
beaten from their cages and scared
up for him to shoot down
which brought him an inner joy.
What happened
to him when he was a boy?

[From Where I Live: New and Selected Poems, (c) W.W. Norton & Company, 2010.]

 I am so grateful for my life, for the opportunity to live, and I assume that other living things feel the same. Insofar as possible I try to refrain from unnecessarily taking the life of even so small a thing a spider. I often capture them in the house and release them outside (although I have no compunction against swatting flies and mosquitoes, plus I eat meat, so, yes, I am a hypocrite).

What did happen to these folks when they were children?


1 comment:

  1. It is right and proper to sustain your own life, eating requires something to die be it a leaf or a leg. Killing without threat is a sin that will have to be balanced. No hypocrisy here.