RURAL PURSUIT

    Jinnie...... is that truly your name?
    Are you looking for your dad?
    Is that his gun case on the sideboard?
    Is he shooting down the fen?

    Have you watched him shoot a hare?
    Pausing with his barrels poised
    while the creature skirts its furrows raised
    its fur hackled and its ears laid low.

    And the sharp crack which broke the afternoon
    and the hare's back quivering on the ground
    not dead, merely wounded. Its eyes rolling,
    for the shooter forgot the final shot,

    left him writhing and leaping in the air
    kept him covered until his mate arrived
    who took a minute for that final check
    and then, with slow agony, broke his neck.

    Keith Thompson
    6th January 2005