Sunday, July 16, 2006

Best kind of hunting

In another episode from Steinbeck's Sea of Cortes, three Indian people arrive on the boat, introduce themselves and offer to take the crew on a hunting expedition to shoot long horned sheep called Borrego. The crew find this idea attractive and they go off with their hosts into the Mexican mountains. They have a wonderful time, they light a fire, drink beer and talk about Mexican women all night. Then the next morning the hosts send out three trackers to shoot the sheep - they never intended to actually shoot them! The three trackers are unsuccessful but they bring back a handful of sheep droppings. Steinbeck is offered a few of the droppings which he takes and concludes that this a better type of hunting, the best way to hunt is without a gun:

"For ourselves we have had mounted on a small hardwood plaque one perfect borrego dropping. And where another man can say, "there was an animal, but because I am greater than he, he is dead and I am alive, and there is his head to prove it," we can say, "there was an animal, and for all we know there still is and here is the proof of it. He was very healthy when I last heard of him."

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