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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Coondogs


Johnny is walking ahead of me, his cell phone held out at arms length & I’m wondering if he’s looking for cell service.

When I catch up with him, he explains in a thick white country folks’ Alabama drawl that he’s taking photos of the deer. His whole face lights up with love, outlining every abundant crease and crevice, and pulling his lips back to rest on almost toothless gums.

White and grey bristles cover his chin, color-coordinating with his floppy short hair. He is wearing a plaid shirt, similar to mine, and jeans.

I express my approval of his shooting deer with a camera and ask if he knows he cannot hunt in these woods.

He looks at me again and says he don’t believe in hunting deer either. He loves animals. Then he explains he has coondogs.

I’m trying to imagine what a coondog looks like, thinking I’m to be introduced to another local animal that I know nothing about but when he describes how he and his buddy, back at the campsite, only have coon dogs he must see the question beginning to dawn on my face.

Oh we just run the dogs after coons, ma’am– he eagerly justifies. The dogs chase the raccoon thru the woods until it gives up and runs up into a tree.

The horror must show on my face rendering me wide-eyed and speechless, as he hurries to continue: well we don’t always shoot it, although you can eat raccoon ya know, he slurs his words even more.

I say, so you give the raccoon a heart-attack or you shoot it.

He starts sheepishly kicking the ground with what I hope is some shame.

Why do you do that, Johnny, I ask. He tells me he don’t know, guess cause it’s fun – fun to scare the life out of a living creature with tons of snarling dogs? Does this sound at all familiar to you?

He seems to have such a gentle, non-assuming stance that white men don’t often have and he definitely does not come from money.

I tell him I think I know why white men do these things. I can tell he has mixed feelings about whether he wants to hear what I have to say next as he shifts his feet and glances longingly toward the deers he's missing shots of.

I say I think it’s part of your legacy from the days your people enslaved other people and chased them through the woods like you’re chasing raccoons.

And, I continue to his horrified expression, I also think it makes you feel like that god white men created, when you have power over life and death - and such unfair power, I add, but of course that's redundant.

He is very red in the face now, and very anxious to get going. I leave him with, you know, it’s a legacy that you can change.

Right ma’am, he is polite to the very end. I’ll think about it.

This time his smile is sad, his faded blue eyes wide, his gait slow.

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