My turkey book is going to press this fall, titled Broken Promises. Here is part of the introduction.
© 2019 Walt Hampton
It is the conundrum of my life, the life-conflict in my heart and my guts that I have to pursue and kill that which I love so dearly. I do not know why I love you, only that I do, even though your sinful pride and wanton arrogance are thrown in my face every time we meet; I only know that your scream of dominance and sexual hunger and your brazen indifference to the other living things of your world brings me to the razor edge of my predatory senses, no less today than the first time I was witness to these things, over 50 years ago. I have such a great admiration and deep awe for the marvelous evolution that created you, that fit you into your world and gave you the instinct to survive; the color of ever feather has a reason behind it as do the scales and hooks on your terrible legs or the position of your all-seeing eyes on your horrible, beautiful head. In His infinite wisdom God has given you to us, you marvelous creature; we are locked together in life’s oldest dance, a dance where when the music stops only one of us will walk away. If you weighed a few more pounds the woods would be a dangerous place for us, those that would chase you.
I have spent years studying ways to kill you, devoted a life-time to uncovering the secrets of your life-way and honed my skills to use those secrets to end your life, a life that no other animal so clings to with such tenacious ferocity and it is the supreme challenge of hunting to kill you on your own ground, pitting what I have learned against your marvelous senses. I am your grim reaper; I am the liar and the whore, hidden in plain sight, whispering promises in your own language I never intend to keep, beguiling you to come and get your due; and you are the foolish, arrogant king that believes those lies and comes to be serviced by the wench, to dominate and humiliate the female that dares to give you invitation, and I will reach in and snatch the life out of you so fast you could not know what has happened, you know only your claws digging and clasping the cold mountain dirt, as your wings beat the earth in a furious and futile flopping, and your neck snakes your torn and broken head back and forth on the bloody leaves, trying in vain to catch up to the life that has already fled, and hold to the world that you will never see again. I am the sudden death of the animal world, the two-legged creature that will never understand your evolutionary connection with this thing we call life; I will be merciful only in my quick delivery of your demise, for me the act only the finality of the entire experience and it must be delivered ruthlessly, a wanton, planned and premeditated hot-blooded murder.
Your beauty is so overwhelming and something I don’t know what drives me to possess that which I can never ever really possess so I must go again and again and again to find you and your kind and kill you. As I watch my own life dwindle with each passing hour and my own time grow short, and I begin to come to terms with my own mortality, I know that you are teaching me the necessity of living in the moment; that by your example you have always tried to teach me to desperately and passionately cling to this thing we call life, and to live it unashamed, and like you to be true to my own nature. For these things I owe you a debt of gratitude.
So as payment on that debt, I will give you only this one fair warning: In the soft pink blush of sudden dawn, when the earth awakens around you, when you have carelessly forgotten yesterday’s transgressions and you seek to ruthlessly rule your world for another day, the undisputed king of all you know, it might be me you hear whispering the promises that sound so sweet.
They may be promises that will be broken.