My father mailed me a ziplock bag of deer jerky for Christmas. It has been a long time since I hurt my teeth chewing something. Having been raised on wild game, my body will sink into a deep depression if not nourished by a wild animal for an extended period of time. I ate the entire bag while watching the morning news last Friday. I feel ten years younger and my stomach, which had been upset for nearly a week, suddenly was still.
Dad no longer hunts. He got the jerky from a butcher shop for deer where he worked for $8 an hour over the past month. He tells me that it is no longer in his heart to kill anything, but he does not mind cutting various roasts and loins from the deer that others bring down. I remember as a child, the most important thing to my father was that his sons grew up to become good hunters and fishermen. I never had much of a desire to kill anything. We spent countless afternoons shooting birds with a BB gun that my brother received one year for Christmas. That gun was the most widely used Christmas gift in all our lives.
Dad said he lost his desire to hunt soon after he stopped drinking. He no longer is that angry man who causes my mother’s nose to bleed.
“Did you get the check I mailed separately?” Dad asked when I thanked him for the deer that came in the mail last Friday.
“Yes. I did. Oh, and thanks for the beer I bought on you. It tastes so good with the jerky.”