The Essence of Life

The Essence of Life

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Reflections, Man & Boy

A Touching Book

I believe that I need to apologize for not having written a new posting in about a month, but it has been so cold here in Northen Michigan Lower Peninsula that bits and electrons that are required to place messages in the internet told me that they did not want to leave the front of my fireplace, and being the kind person that I am, I just let them warm themselves and even provided a drop or two of good Brazilian cachaça to keep their spirits high.

Of course that this is true for I would never allow work and work related travel to interfere with my writting!

Anyhow, today I finished reading a fantastic book by Australian writer and outdoorsman Ron Forsyth. "Reflections, Man & Boy" is a superb collection of life long stories and memories that spam from the Great Depression when his father emigrated to Australia to our rather stupid modern times when do-gooders and uninformed outsiders try to change our way of life in a completely misguided and ignorant way.

The book starts and end with stories about rabbit hunting, which apparently was of great relevance to the Australian farming comunities, but there is also a lot of upland birds and waterfowl hunting, as well as tales about life itself. Some of the stories are fun, others are sad, some are poetic, others are shocking, but every single one is superbly written.

The tale "Make Me a Fox Whistle" even made me feel that my childhood was somehow connected to a small farming community in Australia, as the fox whistle made by a certain Mr. Porter is exactly the same whistle we used to make out of bottle caps to call capybaras when stand hunting at night in the swamps that cut our farm in Brazil.

I am unable to select the single best chapter or story in the book, but there are two that surprised me in such a way that I must point out. The first is "Clarrie's Tree" which has several twists that really throw the reader the proverbial curve ball, and the other is a story of overcoming one's most difficult challenges, "Squarring Up".

Although I have being in Australia a couple times, I have not had the opportunity to shoot or hunt there, but I hope that in a not so distant future my mate Anthony Spence-Fletcher can arrange some primitive outdoors activities for us to go on a walk about down under, and that at least part of it involves a shotgun. In the mean time I will make a list of all the other things to be done, from barramundi to buffalo!

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