This I Believe

John - Washington, District of Columbia
Entered on May 1, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Tonight I am grilling elk steaks and sausages. Meat shot by my dad.

He fed his family this winter.

Here is the story about how he was able to get so much meat this year:

My dad rustled through some undergrowth in the late fields of Montana.

His belly icy from the fresh powder laid down near noon. As the sun faded into the horizon, his lips beginning to freeze to the elk ‘call,’ he spied a large buck 300 yards away. It cautiously stepped out onto the open tundra, nose in the air to smell threats lying in wait.

My dad loaded a round and moved into position to shoot. The buck had now begun eating some grass, and the more timid females began circling this mighty steed. One female, the old oak, worked her way closer to the male. She stood in his shadow and felt the warmth of his

protection. For many years these two had birthed the mightiest of the herd, and in their waning years the two continued to produce offspring wrought from iron.

Adjusting his sight for 330 yards, my Dad took aim at the mighty beast’s heart. At once the lives that were so connected, so fruitful,

enjoying a mouthful bliss, were ended simultaneously. For the same bullet that pierced the heart of the powerful buck, struck the veins of the old oak.

Moving quickly to collect his feast, unaware of the power of one shot, my father ran down the hill to meet the mighty beast. And two, not

one, elk lay slain on the snowy earth. Two lives given for one family. One man, two beasts.

We eat in their honor tonight.