|The Story||The Authors|
|Young Roger Weaver was hungry. He'd wasted all but his last 3 bullets
on ethereal mirages, wishful thinking, and a generally aimless aim
(so bad, in fact, that his father had been heard to remark that "Roger
couldn't shoot himse'f in the foot if'n he put his mind to it!"),
and he couldn't hold out much longer. He scanned the endless plain
below him with the binoculars. Nothing stirred. |
"What would old Ernest Hemingway do if he were in my shoes!" he inquired aloud, to no one. "He'd prob'ly havve a babe with him. And a whole buncha booze. And a safari guide to do all his killing for him. Fuck it!" he swore. "I ahe the Rich and Famous!"
Something caught his eye on the plain below; he raised the rifle to his shoulder, sighted desperately, and fired, three shots in rapid succession — bam! bam! bam! — and unbelievably, the galloping beast below jerked, shuddered, and fell. "Yippee!" said Roger. He raced down to the plain and found, to his astonishment, that he had bagged his first giraffe.
|His heart was pounding in his chest and he felt a distinct rush of excitement having successfully excersized an act of total domination over another creature. As he ran, each breath he took filled his chest with a new tangible satisfaction. He came close to the creature lying on the ground and was at first impressed with how enormous it was. From far off it hadn't looked so massive. The next sensation he felt was one of horror and panic. The beast was laying on the ground, yet it was not motionless. It's chest was heaving up and down. The animal was making unintelligable intermittent noises. A chaotic mixture of wimpering, and gurgling. Occasionally, the animal would attempt to thrash about. Roger found himself struck with a sense of guilt and empathy. The animal was not dead. Roger had failed in his attempt to facilitate an easy transition for a fellow beast to go from a free individual in it's own right, to it's place as just another rung in the food chain.|
It was only then, though, as Roger (who'd lately taken to pronouncing
his name in the Gallic manner, Ro-jhay) bent to examine the
giraffe more closely that he noticed the caked film of damp brown
still drying on its spotted hide. He sniffed. "Peeee-yeeeeee-you!"
he exclaimed. "That smells like fecal matter!" |
He peered still closer. "Looks like fecal matter, too" he remarked. He dipped his index finger in, placed it tentatively on his tongue. "Tastes like fecal matter, too. No doubt about it in my mind — this giraffe has recently been numbered among the lucky recipients of a shit-bath!"
|He looked around and saw that the giraffe was losing blood fast, and the manifestations of it's suffering were becoming farther and farther apart. Suddenly Roger saw a movement out of the corner of his eye. Just over a ridge a short distance away he saw the main of a lion as it coyly peered at him from behind the embankment. Had Roger failed to notice that his prey was being chased by another predator at the time he had chosen for it's demise? Roger was immediately endowed with the unique sensation of terror befalling all animals of prey. He was out of bullets. Was it his turn to play the giraffe?|
He stood stock-still, frozen with indecision as he felt the wind shift
and saw that the lion was now downwind from him and the giraffe.
Would this be the end of Roger Weaver? he wondered. Thirty-four
years old. Unshaven. Half-mad with hunger and dysentary. You don't
want me, lion... |
The lion may have had different thoughts on the subject, but finding itself downwind from the rancid, fecal odor of the giraffe as well, it decided to forego the possibility of human prey (despite their reputation, humans had never been to the lion's liking — too dry — now, a wildebeast, on the other hand...) and ambled off, thinking that this evening it had a yen for that fresh, light taste of gazelle which industry heads in the lion community had recently begun referring to as "the other white meat."