by Alan J. Couture
Gatlin’ Dave stared at the Beast
with eyes of burning ice –
Raised his rifle to his cheek
and fired once. Then twice.
The shots rang out loud and fierce
on that crisp and wintry morn.
But the Beast heeded not Dave’s tries,
just stood there, eating his bait corn.
Shots three, four and five did follow
as Gatlin’ Dave pulled the trigger.
Yet still the Beast stood, unhurt–
Why? Dave couldn’t figure.
It gazed at Dave with eyes content
while filling up its belly.
The huge rack it wore like a crown
made Dave’s legs feel like jelly.
Reloading, thrice more Dave fired
at the Beast there before him.
But his quarry seemed not to care
and Dave’s luck was growing dim.
Shots nine and ten split the air,
yet the Beast was standing, still.
Then in a long-tailed flash of white
was gone, having eaten its fill.
It seemed to laugh at Gatlin’ Dave
as through the woods it went.
Dave hurled curses at the Beast,
even more than the shells he’d spent…
Gatlin’ Dave trudged back to camp,
cursing his bad luck.
“Next time I’ll bring more shells,” he vowed.
“Then I’ll bag that Buck!”