A Poacher’s Revenge

I hide, I sit, I wait, I shoot, I eat. My name is Bob Edwards and they call me a ‘poacher’. They hunt me down with their big dogs – hounds of the devil – I call them. That is all apart from Sunny my companion wolf-dog. He’s the most useful tool I have because unlike my rifle he can kill almost silently. I’ve even trained him to catch our dinner, which is generally rabbit stew, he’ll get it in the neck without making too much of a mess. Ever since Par died it’s been him and me. Par stepped into one of those evil man-traps and at the age of thirteen I watched my Par bleed to death. His last words that I’ll never forget were: ‘ Don’t ever be tempted into those wicked cities son, they’ll turn you into a slave of the system’ he said. ‘Like a hamster on a wheel’…….

See the difference between me and most is that I eat what I catch and then sell the pelt for what I can and buy ‘meself’ some more hot lead. That’s how I live, never wanted to live any other way, it’s ‘da’ only trade ‘a’ know. The hypercritical bastards persecute me for hunting for ‘ma’ bread. They hunt us down with their dogs like I’m some ‘kinda’ rabbit. When they kill an animal they say it’s ‘cos’ they need to control the population ‘The Balance’ they say. Anyway they don’t kill an animal they destroy it.

Better be on the move again. That gunshot i’ll draw ’em’ like flies to a carcass. What I do you see is hide it and go back later that night for me supper ‘en’ to skin the animal for it’s pelt. I can hear their dog’s already – filthy mutts -, evil gits. They’ll never catch us with their dogs and mutts. They’re useless, as I’m off down the river on ‘me’ canoe. It’s not a bought canoe like most folks would get, no! Made ‘this’un’ by ‘meself’ took me a whole day hollowing it out of a blooming tree. ‘ Ma’ friends ask me why I don’t get a ‘proper’ job. ‘An’ I say to ’em’ you get me a job that’ll pay for a 50,000 acre back garden.

With night closing ‘an me’ tired I decided to stop at the side of the river like I usually do. I never stray far from ‘me’ river and ‘ma’ canoe to make a quick get away. We never stay in one place more than once or you become a creature of habit, an animal and animals get caught, I don’t. That’s what my Dad said to me before he stepped into that evil man-trap.

The reassuring feeling of Sunny by ‘me’ feet and the crackling of a warm fire soothes me and tempts me to forget all ‘me’ w o r r i e s……. a n d……..f e a r s………………….

This is what I love about what I do, waking up to the babbling of the……………………

‘Oh Shit!’ Is that the dogs I hear. They’re on to me! Those dogs are the ultimate tracking machines they won’t stop until your dead…A wolf, their close relatives, can track it’s prey for three days jogging constantly if it has to. Sunny’s been itching to have a go at them ever since he first heard them, but he wouldn’t stand a chance three on one. Head for the river as soon as I hear those dogs. In to my canoe and away in seconds. As I’m going past them in my canoe I provide ‘meself’ with cover this is quite easy, a few loose rounds should do the job. They know that in a straight out canoe race me and Sunny would whip them.

I daren’t go back for me bear hide for I’ve got a hunch they’ve found it. I won’t stop canoeing until the day is out, have ‘me’ jerky on the go because it’s not worth the risk of stopping but I’ll slow down if Sunny wants to stretch his legs by swimming in the river. I’d do almost anything for Sunny because he’s as loyal as they come.

It’s getting dark now, I think it’s best I make camp, that small cove should hide my canoe quite nicely. If it gets spotted by those gamekeepers I’m knackered as they wouldn’t think twice about putting a bullet in me and pretending I never existed. I fall into a deep sleep like a baby………

God what a gorgeous morning, ‘ SUNNY, SUNNY’ where is that dog. ‘HERE BOY’ He never normally goes off like this! SUNNY! SUNNY! What if they’ve taken him? Where is he? Panic sweeps over me. I walk a couple of hundred yards and find him. ‘Me’ poor dog. I cannot describe my anguish. Strapped to a tree with a bullet in his head and half eaten by those evil mutts, dried blood staining the tree and the leaves around it. My God he’s been my sole companion since the age of thirteen. I must pull myself together. I can hear ‘ma’ Par saying, ‘ Channel your anger Son, Don’t let it drown you.’

I’ve taken him down and put him in ‘ma’ canoe to take to somewhere not as dangerous to give him a proper burial. He must have go the scent of something last night and gone straight into their twisted trap. They shouldn’t be allowed to protect animals if they’re capable of doing things like that. This looks like a good spot. As I dig away making him a proper grave that won’t get dug up by scavengers, I think to ‘meself’ what can I do to make them pay for this disgusting act of debauchery, ‘it’ worse than murdering, those sick bastards! I decide on the Final Act the highest punishment: Death, I will kill them! They have pushed me over the edge, I will not run, I will become the hunter of all and the ‘Gamekeepers’ the prey. They’ve taken away from me the only thing I had left in the cruellest way possible.

I hope they all behave a bit better with a bullet in their brain. It’s going to be those evil mutts they set on my Sunny that die first though. They, those twisted bastards, set the man-traps that led ‘ma’ Par to such a horrendous death. I won’t rest until they are avenged.

As I walk from tree to tree half expecting to hear their perverse voices in the background so much I can almost hear them in ‘me’ head, ‘me’ mental pictures keep flashing between my mutilated dog amongst that dried blood and ‘ma’ Par in his last tortured moments. I can hear them laughing as Sunny would be ripped to pieces. Lets see how they laugh at the wrong side of ‘me’ high powered rifle.

As night falls I grow a malicious smile on ‘ma’ face for darkness is where I am untouchable. I hear their raucous voices in the distance now along with their mocking laughter.

There is no need to get close to the camp for I can pick them off o n e by o n e. As I adjust the scopes a rush of ecstasy flows through ‘me’ blood. The elation at the thought of taking these bastards down is overwhelming.

The round is in the chamber ready to be liberated to do my lost relatives justice. BANG! Down goes one of those pretty ‘hounds of the devil!’ One down three more dogs and four more keepers to go! The kick back was sharp but only heightened my elation and determination to destroy them all. Come to Momma! BANG! BANG! BANG! All of those mutts down. Feeling better Sunny! Totally enveloped in a frenzy and lust for blood.

I could sit hear and watch them run around like headless chicken but no they will die! Look at them running around trying to find cover behind pebbles wondering whose going to be next. Look they’ve even pulled out their pistols now as if they could reach me that same malicious smile beams across ‘me’ face as I realise they are helpless prey. BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! The silence returns to the forest slowly after the volley of echoes. It leaves me shuddering as the adrenaline flows from my body and the elation collapses.

That is what happens to evil and twisted men. Their clones however will come again in the false belief that they are justified in their wicked ways but next I could end up like my Par or Sunny but for now my Par and faithful dog comrade avenged I can return to my previous existence.

I hide, I sit, I wait, I shoot, I eat.