Along The Shore


By Attila Zønn


We walked around all day looking for something to shoot. William wanted to try his new shotgun. There was no game. Years of unregulated hunting had depleted all the wildfowl and ground game.

Like ghosts from the abundant past, two ducks settled on the marshy delta. William  shot at them, but they flew off untouched.

He handed me the gun and said, “Give it a try.”

I shot at a rock. The jolt knocked me in the jaw. I handed the gun back to him and we walked.

The sun was going down and William wasn’t happy.  He wanted to kill something. We went to the shoreline and watched sand plovers run along the water’s edge. William shot at one, but only nicked it. The bird leaned into its broken wing and pivoted in a circle. William picked it up, held it and watched it’s blinking eyes and heaving chest while it tried to flap a wing.

He twisted it’s neck.

It’s legs spasmed and kicked,  then the bird went limp.

William saw my disgust and said, “Leaving it alive would have been far worse for it.”

“Not shooting it would have been better for it,” I said.



©2017 Attila Zønn

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