He checked his gear, picked up his Winchester 70 rifle and the back pack and stepped out side the hut. He usually never locked the door behind him but this morning he did. Every few months he came to this place for hunting. The hut was bought by his dad in good old days when there was hardly any population and the prices were cheap. It was only two hours drive from his city house and located in the mountain range that started in the north. The forestation was depleting and so was the game, but he came up once in a while just for serenity if not game.
Mostly he was accompanied by his wife. This time, however, he was alone, because she had passed away six months back. And it was only now that he was visiting the place with the hope that his old passion for hunting may relieve his grief, somewhat. This time around he knew there would be no breakfast waiting for him when he returned. No discussions on the purpose of his hobby that was hunting or arguments over his habits of leaving things half done. The void left by his life partner was not to be filled by anything on heavens and earth and he tried to cope with it as soberly as possible.
It was still an hour to dawn. He walked towards the lake which was half an hours further down the trek. That would leave him with half an hour to settle in and wait for the animals to start arriving at the water front. His quota allowed him one deer per year, and he had none this year so far. In fact none for the past two years. Once he got a puma but that was almost two decades ago and they were rare to find these days �" probably also banned for hunting. The most common game were ducks which were frequent and many.
As he settled down in the shrubs and readied his rifle, his mind was elsewhere, surely his soul was. The thrill of the game that got all hunters going was not there and it was as if he was performing a ritual devoid of any emotions. He put the round in the bolt action rifle that was considered a classic. Looked around to see any thing unusual but didn't; it was still dark and he was past 70. He sat there motionless and his mind drifted to his wife, his only love for the past 45 years. She always kept him going and pushed him forward when he felt reluctant. She was hearty and spendthrift and lavishly treated anyone who came in contact with her; quite the opposite to what he was.

With the first light, animals started pouring in and he readied himself for some deers to appear. He only had to wait ten minutes when four of them appeared together. He was rarely so lucky. He picked his rifle and while lying down put the sight on the animal clearest in view. The animals adjusted themselves and stood still over the water. He knew he had few minutes before they moved away so he put the aim steady and moved the finger over the trigger. At last, he could feel his heart beating faster as adrenal pumped in. But the next few moments he lay there in the same position and kept watching the animals. The thought crossing his mind had never crossed before. They were probably pairs, and if he killed one the other would loose its partner. His finger eased and a few moments later the animals moved away and then disappeared. He sat up and turned around. Just then, the bushes to his right rumbled and a full grown bear appeared. It stood up to display its full might and then charged towards him. He fired the only round in the gun at point blank range, which stopped the bear with a thud. He reloaded and and fired another into the lying beast to make sure the animal was dead. He stood there for what seemed ages, thinking what could have been if he had fired at the deer. He returned to his cottage and drove away in the afternoon. He never returned for hunting for the rest of his life.


My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


A very moving story you lead the reader, and the ending was most satisfying

Posted 2 Years Ago


2 Years Ago

Thanks dear,
l am so encouraged by your words. keep visiting.
Nice to know some people can change their stance on such issues...any life taken has consequences...profound WILDERNESS...

Posted 4 Years Ago


4 Years Ago

Thanks dear..
I enjoyed this story of an aging man's search for comfort. Being 68 and not as adept at things as I used to be, I found something familiar. Though I hunted when young, I now have no taste for killing and am content to to admire God's creatures, shooting them only with a camera. A charging bear, though--I wouldn't hesitate to fire my gun.

Posted 4 Years Ago


4 Years Ago

Thanks a bunch for taking time out ...................... glad you liked it.

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


3 Reviews
Added on May 19, 2016
Last Updated on May 19, 2016



islamabad, Pakistan

In this life the luckiest are those who follow their heart and live what they believe in. Of all the truths death is the ultimate truth Got serious about poetry few years back and what a beautiful j.. more..



The Virus The Virus


gods gods


Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..

Shaheed Minar Shaheed Minar

A Poem by zainul