The Coon Hunt – Flash Fiction for 3/23/12

Photo courtesy Madison Woods

Grandpa, the dogs and I go into the woods at sunset. He carries the rifle and I carry the flashlight. We hike for hours through darkened rough hills to reach grandpa’s secret hunting ground. In a clearing, we build a roaring fire and grandpa sends out the dogs. I lay on a bed of pine needles and watch falling stars. Grandpa nips at his flask and dozes.

We wake at daylight. The dogs came back during the night. We head home. I don’t have the heart to tell him there haven’t been any coons in these woods for twenty years.

30 responses to “The Coon Hunt – Flash Fiction for 3/23/12

  1. Oh to me it was so sad. Too bad they can’t go somewhere with some coons one last time. Glad the boy didn’t complain at least.

  2. I really enjoyed the authenticity of this tale. And loved it that the grandson went on this trek with grandpa knowing it was just for the company, the experience. A lovely tale.

  3. At first I thought, that the “I” is a teenager. But the 20 years allusion threw me off. Is the grandfather senile? If he is, then it was not that clear. But a touching story about love between grandparent and grandchild. Cheers!

  4. Dear Ron,

    “We hike for hours through darkened rough hills….” This was my favorite line in a story in which every line qualified as good. It had a feel very much like a passage from a Cormac McCarthy novel. The connection between both characters was solid and heartfelt, the mood and pacing perfect and the tone beautiful.

    I agree with Susan as well. All told, a very wonderful submission for this Friday and one of your most evocative so far.

    Thanks for your kind comments on my page. Glad you agree about the muzzle flash.



  5. Nice job. My Father was an avid coon hunter and trapper. Walking thru the woods at night with a kerosene lantern is always an adventure. The trees, the shadows, the night-sounds, it’s a different world.

    You captured the essence of the relationship. Hunting & fishing is not about what you kill or catch. It’s about the time you spent in nature with someone you love.

  6. It is about the time spent, not the actual hunting or fishing. Never a hunter, I was a fisherman, or boy, and later realised it was about the splendid isolation, the slowness, the awareness of the surroundings and the time to think while your body was occupied. For others, perhaps less thoughtful, it was also not about the hunting but the camaraderie, often accompanied by much drinking, for which the hunting was a pretext. The mountain country people I knew really disliked that.

  7. Yeah, nice… except for a pack of dogs running loose thru the woods all night, harassing countless wildlife animals, running across private property, disrupting habitat, spooking animals.

    We really need to be more compassionate towards nature, sorry, but I’ve seen the path of destruction “running the dogs” leaves behind.

  8. I love that they’re spending time to together and that the grandchild doesn’t need to ‘correct’ the grandfather. It’s the way more of our relationships should be. Why do we feel the need to explain everything or do it all for a concrete reason? Loved this.

  9. Well, that was a sweet little story. Almost an anecdote. Happy ending for me – nothing got shot. Of course, I can’t help but wonder what the dogs got up to overnight….

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