Monday, November 17, 2008

All the Pride and Dreams of Manhood

I was running a new country route this evening with Hannah when I saw an unforgettable November scene.

We had just followed a bend in the road that left a residential area and entered a wooded area when up and over a little hill we saw a green John Deere tractor climbing the slope that we were about to run down. As the tractor approached, I could see that the driver was wearing bright orange, and I was a little confused by the rather non-agrarian color.

I was confused, that is, until, the tractor's scoop was close enough that I could see a freshly killed deer in the bucket of the John Deere. I quickly averted my eyes (I really don't like staring at freshly killed animals), and I glanced up at the face of the elderly gentleman in the orange cap driving his John Deere.

The look on his face was absolutely priceless. In one look the orange-capped farmer conveyed all of the pride and dreams of manhood. The elderly gentleman raised his hand and said, "Hi."

His "Hi." said much more than just "Hi." It really said, "Hi. I just killed this deer with my own gun. He is mine. I waited for him. I caught him. I got him. He's in my scoop. He's not going anywhere. I am a man. I am a fulfilled man. I am a proud and happy man."

I was absolutely so thrilled for this gentlemen. I was thrilled that he was fulfilled in all of the dreams of his manhood. I almost said, "That's a nice deer you shot."

But I actually hadn't looked at the dead deer long enough to know if it was nice or not, so I decided to simply nod in the direction of the tractor's bucket and just say, "Hey."