Josh Keyes - The Hunter
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12”x12”, Acrylic on panel
We was up at Marshals Canyon huntin' quail and white tail and what not, Lil Big Jim come across some mighty strange prints alongside Willows creek. He reckoned they was bear prints but I aint never seen a print like at before, looked to me like elk but them was bigger than my Aunt Ednas Chirstmas pie.
We was deep in the woods, that's when I spied a young buck set with a crown of glory on its head , them antlers sparked in the autumn sunlight like sweet maple custard. I got myself real quiet and steady, catching a slow breath, and set my sight on the heart, I was teasin' the trigger, nice and slow, an' thats when somthin' must have spooked that buck , my prize trophy that was destin' to hang in my sittin' room flashed away like wild lightnin', an' thats when we heard something storming tord us from behind. We turned to see what the devil had dreamt up to cause such a calamity of breaking branches an a tearing up of dirt like a tornada.
Little Big Jims eyes were as big and round as a pair of Jolienes white lacey doylies, she likes to serve her saltwater taffy squares on em, thats how I lost this here tooth and maybe some of the others, but them salty squares sure are tasty. Jim and I was mighty scared, his mouth hung open like he was gunna swallow a cloud'a swamp flies. It was then a great shadow covered us like a black soot blanket. I threw down my rifle and, Jim tossed his crossbow into the thicket, and we ran, we ran like a couple of jack rabbits catchin' fire. Little Big Jim was a few paces further back, an I could hear him a hollerin' and squealin', an' whatever in heavens name was on us done got Jimmy in the tail pipe.
After a time, of scamblin' and rolling through the brambles we finally got to Lil Jims truck , we was gaspin' and wretchen' for air, an' covered head to toe in sweat, dirt, grime an leaves, lookin like a couple a hill trolls. Little Big Jim had weedled in his britches, an also had a mighty pain on his rump whar that thang got em, Later Doc Stevens done fixed him up so's now he can sorta sit sideways on a pillow and watch his Netflicks, but only for a short spell. Jim said later he got an arrow out his bow and struck it somewhar' in that critters neck. When I was runnin', I done lost my great grandaddys huntin' hat, he called it checkers, cause it was checkered in red and black like a cheacker board. I went back thar some days later to look for checkers, my rifle and Big Jims crossbow, but I aint never found em. what I found out thar was them giant footprints, an I nearly fell head first in one of em. Well no surprise I aint never been back to them woods since, and never ever will again. So you kids might thank about findin' another campin' site. Jim said later he got an arrow out his bow and struck it somewhar in that critters neck. I dint get a look ate what was chasin' us, Jim had a glance back and saide whutever it was it was big, bigger than 50 of Ednas unfortunate three legged sow put together, sed it had a rack a giant anters with huntin' gear hangen on 'em like a Christmas tree. When I was runnin', I done lost my great grandaddys huntin' hat, he called it checkers, cause it was checkered in red and black like a cheacker board. I went back thar some days later to look for checkers.