the day i shot the antelope


  • Life
  • ,
  • Sadness

    the day i shot the antelope

    i was 18
    riding fence on Wagon Hound 
    i noticed an antelope
    always pretty much in the same place
    as i would ride through on my way to fence mending
    for three days he was there
    on the fourth day
    i brought my single shot .22 rifle
    he was there
    i knew he would be
    he had a bad hip
    if he were healthy i would have never seen him
    this close
    he had a great rack
    good ivory on the tips
    some would be glad to have him on their wall
    i left my horse at the fence
    and walked toward him
    there was a small gully with some scrub bushes
    he as standing there
    his head and neck visible
    he backed into as much cover as he could
    i lay down
    i shot him though the side of the head with a long rifle hollow point
    from about 20 yards
    this distance seemed to be about what he would tolerate from me
    i had walked toward him before
    i did not want to see him struggling to flee
    with his broken hip
    he had to wonder why
    why can't i run
    i've always ran
    i am the fastest on the prairie
    he went down with one shot
    i went over and looked at him
    i thought he was pretty
    i didn't need another shot
    i left him
    dead on his land
    with his rack and integrity intact
    he would understand when the Magpies and coyotes
    came to release his soul
    putting it back into that system of life
    and his soul  would again run free across the vast plains of Wyoming

    i didn't tell anyone about shooting the antelope
    sometimes you have to search way back
    to find something that you are proud of
    what you find may surprise you
    looking back i'm proud to have done it


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    Teardrops commented on the day i shot the antelope


    When the time comes i dont want to be in a home tolerated i want to saddle my horse and just ride till i am no more great poem my friend Marie

    ClearlySays commented on the day i shot the antelope


    Very moving, you know the saddest part wasn't the antelope's fate. We all deserve to go back to our creator, it was putting myself in his place. "Why can't I run?" his confusion of his ailment, very heart wrenching to me. Honestly I too agree with your decision. All comes and dies, and it is best to leave without suffering.



    Thank you CS, and thanks for understanding the story..I was saddened by it. The antelope hadn't moved for days from one spot. He struggled walking and was getting thin. i was going through a rough time a few years ago - thought about that day and wrote it. I had a deer license when i was 16.. Had an easy shot at a nice buck..and.. couldn't take it..So the antelpe is the only big game i ever shot.. T64

    When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.

    John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) Thirty-fifth President of the USA

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