I couldn't let the opportunity to post this picture pass me by...I absolutely love this photo of my mom and dad in the early seventies, getting ready to head off for a day of hunting. What's so very funny about this picture is that my mom was NOT a hunter. We are very much alike--books are our passion, not hunting! But my mom and dad shared adventure after adventure together for fifty years, so here they are, ready to take on the day. Here's a funny little poem about the bird who 'got away'....I hope my parents had better luck!
The Last Cock-Pheasant
Splendour, whom lately on your glowing flight Athwart the chill and cheerless winter-skies I marked and welcomed with a futile right, And then a futile left, and strained my eyes To see you so magnificently large, Sinking to rest beyond the fir-wood’s marge— Not mine, not mine the fault: despise me not In that I missed you; for the sun was down, And the dim light was all against the shot; And I had booked a bet of half-a-crown. My deadly fire is apt to be upset By many causes—always by a bet. Or had I overdone it with the sloes, Snared by their home-picked brand of ardent gin Designed to warm a shivering sportsman’s toes And light a fire his reckless head within? Or did my silly loader put me off With aimless chatter in regard to golf? You too, I think, displayed a lack of nerve; You did not quite-now did you?-play the game; For when you saw me you were seen to swerve, Doubtless in order to disturb my aim. No, no, you must not ask me to forgive A swerve because you basely planned to live. At any rate I missed you, and you went, The last day’s absolutely final bird, Scathless, and left me very ill content; And someone (was it I?) pronounced a word, A word which rather forcible than nice is, A little word which does not rhyme with Isis. Farewell! I may behold you once again When next November’s gales have stripped the leaf. Then, while your upward flight you grandly strain, May I be there to add you to my sheaf; And may they praise your tallness, saying “This Was such a bird as men are proud to miss!”