After enduring the last two torturous years, like everyone else, I got up on New Years Day and decided to blow the cobwebs off. I thought a good way to begin the year would be to get some exercise and fresh air while taking in a bit of nature.
With that in mind I set off from Newton Aycliffe station intending to walk to Shildon station and back. This walk is usually invigorating with the choice to see various wild birds, maybe a glance of a shy rabbit or, if you’re really lucky, a distant fox on his way home. It’s just a simple walk with the chance to see the changing face of nature – just the way to kick off the year.
As the year unfolds you can see all sorts of wild flowers, butterflies and are able to watch the cycle of seasons displaying their simple beauty. Little was I to know what was awaiting me . . .
I had only been walking for about ten minutes when I heard a noise off to my left, I looked over and was a bit alarmed to see a man walking on the other side of the lines in a camouflage jacket carrying what looked like a powerful rifle.
He was slowly stalking along the hedge line, gun at the ready, waiting to shoot whatever poor creature he flushed out or stumbled upon. This sight made me feel both sick at what he was doing and wondering if he was behaving legally.
Surely after the two years we have all endured, of fear, death, isolation, the last thing the world needs is more of the same. Have we learned nothing? Is there no way this man can exist alongside wildlife without having to snuff its life out? Can he not look at it and appreciate it for its beauty, be amazed by it, photograph it, draw it or just remember it as a moment of magic?
Surely there is no need to cruelly destroy it for no reason, so that it never breathes again, or is enjoyed by others. I don’t understand what sort of twisted pleasure he can derive from the needless taking of a small innocent life. A human with a large brain, cleverly camouflaged, armed with a high powered rifle, stalking unsuspecting little animals with small brains surely out trying to find food to live.
It’s hardly an evenly matched contest of skill is it? I wonder how many he has killed or mutilated over the years, no wonder wildlife is so scarce for us all to see.
When will he stop? When there is nothing left alive in his hunting area? What then, move on to another area and begin his butchery there? For pities sake, whoever you are, think about what you are doing, the world and the animal kingdom needs help, not more fear, pain and death. It’s not too late to change, you can enjoy all the aspects of nature, but please, don’t be cruel any more. Here’s to a better new year for all God’s creatures.
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A Moment of Magic