Thank you, Bambi

Deer liver.

I know, you cringe a little.

But wait.

Think onions: sautéed with a splash of red wine, bacon and mushrooms, garlic.

Think gravy: thick and brown, delightful peppercorns floating merrily in the broth.

Think roasted potatoes, squash drizzled in maple syrup.

Think red wine in one of those amazing wine glasses that holds half a bottle.

Think delicious furry man, wielding an enormous frying pan, shirtless, with Kings of Leon on the stereo. You know what they say about men with enormous frying pans…

Yummy.

And this deer liver was doing what deer liver was made for, a mere six hours ago.

Nary a steroid, nary a growth hormone, nary an antibiotic, nary an e.coli recall. This liver has lived its life frolicking. Deliciously. In the woods.

Feedlot? I think not.

And, deer friends, this was shot with a bow and arrow, from a tree, on a misty morning with birds singing and leaves drifting golden through the primeval forest glens.

Now, that is hunting.

I got my bow licence a few weeks ago. That’s right, girlfriend… Bow. Licence.

Licenced to kill.

Oh yeah, baby.

Maid Marion ain’t got nuthin’ on me.

There were twenty-six of us, intrepid archers, for eight fun-filled hours of bow-hunting instruction. Four women. Hardy, rugged, don’t-mess-with-me women.

It was camo overload.

I wore pink.

Just ‘cause.

We sat in a community hall, in a circle, everyone wary and nervous because we all knew that at some point in the day we were going to be asked to shoot our arrows.

Into a bull’s eye.

With everyone watching.

I don’t know if this makes men anxious. None of these camo-testosteronies would look me in the eye the entire day, and I decided that it was not because I was taller than all of them… it was because they were shy.

Or maybe they thought I couldn’t see them… because of the camo.

Our instructors were lovely… wouldn’t they be pleased to be described as such?  Ok. Our instructors were rugged mountain men, dripping with killing instinct and survival training skills. Lovely.

Except for one.

Have you ever met the kind of guy who knows everything, and has a story for every… and I mean every… topic of conversation? That kind of guy is lots of fun in front of a roaring fire, passing the rum and BS… but on a sunny Sunday afternoon, with eight hours of instruction to get through before you shoot your arrows and go home to your man who loves you because you are a fierce Amazon Warrior Princess and are willing to sit in a tree with a weapon for umpteen hours in the quest for carnivorous delight… you don’t want stories. You want to know how to use a compass, track blood and tag a deer, thankyouverymuch.

“I knew this guy…”

“There was this time…”

“You think you’ve seen blood…”

“My brother told me this…”

“There was this one time…”

Sweet Jesus, man. This guy had a story for every angle, every arrow, every shot ever taken by mankind, as well as every bizarre accident that could possibly take place.

“… arrow in his arm…. arrow in his hand…. arrow bounced off a tree, went through the deer, deflected off its rib and grazed my shoulder on the way past…”

And he had a ponytail.

Which was distracting.

It was only about two inches long, and one wonders: what is the purpose of the two-inch pony?

Compensating for something?

I am a fan of short hair on men. Short on the head, long and thick on the chest. My man has a perfectly round head and wonderfully cropped hair, and did I mention the size of his… frying pan?

Ahem.

It was a long day, the bow hunting training day.  Waiting to shoot my bow. Three out of five arrows into a twelve inch target from fifteen yards. This was the goal.

Approximately.

With twenty-two men watching.

Now, I like men, but I don’t like them watching me do things when I think the general opinion is that I won’t be able to do it. It makes me shaky.

I did it.

Shaking.

One of the guys had a hole in the ass of his pants, which I thought was funny. One of them had made some really bad tattoo choices. One of them looked barely old enough to go into the woods alone.  The women in the group were super-cool. One had a pink bow, which I coveted. One of the younger ones spent more time wandering around the parking lot with her cell phone held aloft, trying to get service, than she did worrying about hitting the target.

I felt I was on par. In my pink sweater.

I got my bow case out of the Red Hot Mumma Mobile. I opened it… upside down. Hope no one noticed. Flipped it over, arrows fell everywhere. Put on arm guard that I had never used before… on the wrong arm. Switched arms, hoped no one noticed.

My turn. Asked nice elderly man with clipboard how far we were from the target.

“Um. You’re supposed to be able to judge that by yourself.”

“Oh. Hahaha. I knew that.”

It’s not really hard. It’s a pretty big target, after all, and my Love has been making me practice from greater distances, with smaller targets. Like the apple. Which I never managed to hit.

Thunk. Thunk.

Two. Yay!

Miss the next two. Ugh. I just know the twenty-two men are looking at my ass.

Which is huge. Bigger than the target that I keep missing.

Thunk.

Then we move on to tracking. Blood in the woods. And the story-telling pony-tail who apparently has tracked every drop of blood from every deer in the entire province in the course of his fascinating life which he is determined to recount despite my insistence that it is almost sundown and I am weak from hunger and I hit the target and found the blood and can’t I just go home now?

I am a licenced bow hunter.

I am eating fresh deer liver for supper with my Love.

I’m not really crazy about the gutting, the dragging of a very heavy Bambi through the woods, the skinning, the quartering… although I would love to bring a Biology class to see all the amazing bits and pieces up close and personal.

Esophagus. Just a word until you hold one in your hand.

Dragging a 120lb deer through the woods with my Love, after my text message: “I think I made a good shot”. We found each other in the woods. He turned to me and kissed me, and called me his Maid Marion, and promised me liver and gravy for supper.

It was totally worth the eight hours of stories from Mr. Pony Tail.

I did cry a little though, when we found the beautiful creature in the forest. Leaves falling like gold through the trees.

Thank you, Bambi. You are delicious.

Check out my novel: That Thing That Happened:  Available on kindle and kobo

9 thoughts on “Thank you, Bambi

  1. As lovely and well-crafted as the poem is, I can’t get completely away from the fact that my first read of the opener was, “Dear Liver,” I am intrigued by the concept of constructing a letter to liver. Or perhaps to one’s own liver, in certain cases. That could get dramatic.

  2. I don’t hunt. Probably never will. But, by God, I do love the taste of good venison. My wife likes to do up the deer heart in a strong sweet red wine marinade. As for me, nothing I like better than deer steak.

  3. Thank you! What a great post.
    I am not a bow-hunter, though my husband is, and I adore every piece of Bambi that he cooks in a delicious port-peppercorn sauce. Yes indeed.
    There is nothing more sustainable and ecologically viable than wild game. Your writing is amazing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s