Icy breath, on a cold November morn,
as thick as smoke, from a mouth that’s warm.
The sunlight glistens on the frosted bales,
no fear today, of winters stormy gales.
The grass it crunches, when flattened by boots,
fingers feeling numb, with toes following suit.
Diesel fumes drift, polluting the winter air,
more vehicles arrive, bringing people wanting their share.
Hip flasks are opened, for the pre shoot nip,
my Rum warms me up, even with just a small sip.
We then take our places, ready for the first bird,
and silence reigns, you cant hear a word.
Both barrels are loaded, all guns are cocked,
anticipation abounds before the first shot.
My ammo bag full and raising my gun,
I’m feeling my fingers, in the now warming sun.
The beaters are moving, I can hear their shouts,
the dogs get excited, and running about.
Then out from the shrub, the first bird appears,
it takes to the air, I see it so clear.
Closer and closer, the pheasant flies,
my shotgun is raised, level to my eye.
It’s in my sights, I let both barrels go,
it drops to the ground, and my adrenalin flows.
All guns are blazing, and smoke fills the air,
the smell of gunpowder, sometimes to much to bear.
The dogs running round, and retrieving the kill,
with the birds in their mouths, you call them to heel.
I reload my gun, as more birds take flight,
and a nice plump Partridge comes into my sight.
When the smoke clears, I see how I’ve done,
Another clean hit and one to take home.
With both barrels loaded, I again raise my gun,
this time it’s a Woodcock, I must get this one.
It’s rising fast, and erratic in flight,
But bright sun and smoke are not good for your sight.
Squeezing my trigger, getting ready to fire,
I’m feeling cold, and beginning to tire.
My eyes are blurred through all the strain,
I miss this one, It lives another day.
The beaters are quiet, their job has been done,
I gather my birds, in the cold midday sun,
The guns are now silent, as we start to drift away,
I have my dinner, for Christmas and Boxing day.
Copyright © Richard Veal. Feb 18th 2010.
Not what you might think.
This is about life in the country and what has been going on for a long long time.
Picture the scene in your mind while reading it.
It could be anywhere in the country.