Vol.XII No.X Pg.8
December 1975

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Todays popular ever-lovin Mother Nature is often more cruel than loving, as nature observers can testify. Natural brute beasts (are) made to be taken and destroyed, says Peter (2 Pet. 2:12). As a hunter and lover of wild meat dishes I have taken my share too, though not without realistic concern for conservation principles. I have watched animals tear one-another apart, snakes swallow live frogs, and beautiful birds peck another to death. Nature isnt nice.

But survival tactics have also produced some touching scenes. A hunting buddy told me of watching helplessly, through binoculars, as a large coyote maneuvered to get at a new-born antelope fawn. The doe, still weak from giving birth, pivoted like a cutting horse, trying to keep between the predator and her young. It seemed a losing battle until a buck antelope appeared on the horizon, quickly took in the scene, and maneuvered himself in between the coyote and the doe. With swift head-down lunges, he kept the coyote occupied until the doe and fawn were safely gone. Then he tossed his head in final salute, and ran off into the setting sun — fitting end to a genuine wild-west drama. Pass the popcorn and learn a lesson from that.

If you like variety, heres one I heard on my last trip to Arizona. One hunter was watching a doe move slowly down a game trail on the far side of a canyon when he became aware of a cougar crouched in a tree, waiting to spring on the doe. As the lion leaped for the kill, something alerted the doe and she jumped aside and ran down the slope. The big cat screamed wildly at missing his prey and then, to the observers surprise, jumped back into the tree, crouched, and sprang screaming to the trail again. He then wheeled, reentered the tree, and for the third time made the screaming fruitless leap to the ground.

By the time the startled hunter remembered the rifle in his hand the cougar had gone into the brush. There was nothing left to do but collect his nerve and ponder what he had just seen. Did the mighty cougar have a childish temper fit because he had missed his prize? Maybe! But when a grown lion makes such a failure, and does not give chase, I suspect it was a very old, or blinded, cat.

Or, we might claim he had the true Christians spirit: i.e., acknowledge error, practice to improve, then seek another opportunity to try again!