It was right around noon – a beautiful Sunday to be outside. The sky had changed from dull grey to a luminous blue, the air was chilly but not freezing cold.

And hallelujah, there was no wind.

Rick and I were hanging out with our two old sweeties, watching them eat and just grooving on the slow pace of the morning.

We could hear the white noise of traffic on the highway that borders one side of the pasture, which is really quite meditative if you ignore the source.

When we turned down the road into the boarding facility that morning, we saw hundreds of Canada Geese in the cornfield, nestled among the huge bales of corn stalks. I dubbed it “Cornhenge,” because of the way some of the bales sit upended in the field.

The geese seemed to be having a quiet Sunday morning too.

Occasionally we’d see a V of geese overhead and hear their distinctive call.

As far as I’m concerned, the Canada Geese are one of the blessings of this area. And when I’m with the horses I get to be up close and personal with a lot of them.

I know I’m tenderhearted.
Some would say too much so.

But the stories about the geese thrill me. I love their loyalty to their mates, their perseverance, their teamwork, and their overall smarts.

Punctuating our morning reverie was the pop, pop, pop of gunfire coming from property to the south of the pasture.

They were hunting geese.

With each pop, Bud would startle. I’ve noticed this reaction in him before. He doesn’t like the sound. He would relax into eating his grain until another round of popping would commence. Then he’d flinch and wait a moment before returning to his feed pan.

A small formation of geese flew overhead, to the south of us. I called out, wanting to warn them not to go that direction, but of course, they weren’t listening to me.

Pop, Pop, Pop.

Bud flinched.

I saw a goose fall to earth.

I heard a dog bark.

I felt a shudder of sadness.


I don’t get hunting. It’s the act of taking a life that I can’t wrap my head around.

I know some people hunt to put food on their tables.

And hunting helps keep the balance of nature.

I understand all of that.

In my head.

It’s my heart that won’t go along. I can’t do it. I can’t even eat meat when I think about it too hard.


I know I may be opening up a firestorm here, but tell me, where do you stand on hunting?