Guest blogger, my grandfather, G.M.C. Massey, recounts a tale from a hunting party.
I was a School Teacher in the great Southwest Texas, 34 years of age; And I was very aggressive, I was not a coward; But I was daring to a point.
On one week end, one of the Board of trustees came by for me to go hunting down on the NUECES River; Of course we were hunting for Venison, But we not averse to taking any other worthwhile Game if it came our way.
Well we arrived on the hunting ground about an hour before Sun Down, & We decided that we would make a short hunt that afternoon, And be back by dark. We made it back by dark except one who was a little late, because he was about to Get his meat; Soon we heard his rifle blast, And we knew that we had some meat For He and his rifle never failed.
We waited a few minutes, and he reported that he killed one, But he lost it; And we went and helped him hunt, and we failed; But the next morning, He was up and had gone to get his prey; For he knew that he had it, And sure enough he did But the night was so warm, that the meat had spoiled, and we were still without any fresh meat.
The morning was very dark, and drizzly; But that was in our favor, the Hunter said. And as soon as we had fed ourselves, we were off again, And with no dogs. As the cactus was so bad on most of the range, That they were of no advantage. Well, I went the same way that I did the evening before, And soon I was in the deep cactus, And a big BUCK jumped up right in my face, But the cactus was so high that I could not get a shot till he was about 200 years; When I got out to a clear place, so that I could be sure that nothing was in the way: And at the blast of the gun, He dropped to the earth; And by the time that I could get to him, He was gone: But I could track him by the blood; Till I got to the switch cane in the deep of the river valley, And as the splashy bottom, as well as the cane and other undergrowth I lost trail of the BUCK: But about that time I Ran upon a doe, and fawn; And I started to try to get the Fawn, And they dodged this way and that till I lost their trail, out of the mud and the water to a batch of leaves, that got me lost. Still raining some and the darkness of the Elements made it hard for some one that was not used to the country, And it was doubly for me, for I didn’t have a compass, And I realized that I was lost; And it seemed that all reason was about to pass away: Then I realized that this is a time that we Had better bring into use of all that I had read or heard of about other people that got lost; and a few remedies for such conditions.
I took a survey of my surroundings, And tried to be sure of some direction, And the first thing that came to me was “That when you are lost: You want to go the opposite direction from the way that you should go.” And that made me scared to go anyway.
Then I thought about the Old Indian Sign; that the moss always grow on the north side of the tree, And then I looked around I found that the moss was growing on the south side of these trees. Then I reasoned that if the reality was to the reverse of what it seemed; That the truth of the moss growing on the north side was right, And that with the truth of the saying that every thing is the opposite of what it seems Then it dawned upon me that I should go just opposite from the Way that I wanted to go.
Then I started but very reluctantly, For it was all against what Judgment I ad. And I walked for a long Distance not knowing which way it was to the River. After a long walk, I came to a path; But there was nothing familiar about that: But I noticed that the recent rains had bent the grass over to my right; And that made me to know that the river was that direction, And I wanted to get out of that river bottom land, So I went the other way, And after so long I saw a fence to my right, And a sand bar at the fence, And when I went up to it, I also noticed some tracks; And when I scrutinized them more closely, I decided that it looked like my own, and upon trying my foot to the track found that it fit exactly. Then I could see more clearly that was where I had crossed the fencer when I was following that wounded Deer.
Then I was found, And I had wanted to be found; And If I had not wanted to be found, I would not have done it myself; I would have had to fired a gun several times to have attracted attention, For we expected to hear some gun-shot: Well when I did get to the camp, I found that two of the Hunters had bagged Two deer; So it was no failure, for we had a half deer for each of the FOUR In the hunting party.
We had a jubilee of a time, And we cut a large slice of one of the Shoulders, And cooked a nice large hunk of venison for each of us to celebrate: my safety, and the success of the HUNT. This all happened 45 years since.