Dolly

Luna loved to go hunting with her dad. It was one of her most treasured moments of their relationship. The pair of them usually hit the trails about once a month, or whenever their supply of meat would come close to an end. Just last night, Luna’s dad had told her they would head out again in the morning right after breakfast. She could barely sleep and was giddy with excitement for another fun filled daddy-daughter day. 

After a few hours of tossing and turning, she got out of bed to work on her new stick dolly some more. She loved playing with her little dolls, and she was pretty proud of her growing collection.

“You about ready to head out Luna?” her dad was standing by the kitchen counter the next morning, slurping his steaming hot cup of coffee.

“Sure, just let me grab my sweater.” 

Luna ran to her room to retrieve her beloved black sweater, the same sweater she had been wearing for close to three years now. Sure, it was getting a bit tight and had some holes in it, but her grandma had made it for her right before she passed away. She couldn’t even think about parting with it. 

Aside from her dad, her grandma had been the only other family she had. Luna got a bit lonely sometimes, especially since she had no friends either. There just wasn’t anyone else that lived around them, and no one ever came this deep into the woods. In fact, Luna didn’t even go to school. Everything she knew, she had learned from books her dad brought home for her sometimes. He didn’t think she needed to learn all of the unnecessary information they taught in schools these days, but rather wanted her to be able to take care of herself. He often told her that nature was the best teacher and if she learned how to work with it, it would take care of her as well.

After carefully checking their gear and making sure they were camouflaged sufficiently, the pair of them started their track towards their usual hunting grounds. Most of the time they chatted on the way, but her dad seemed distant today, so Luna didn’t want to bother him. Instead she thought about the upcoming winter, and what it would mean for their food supplies. Normally, her dad would trade some of their meat for other goods, but with winter coming they didn’t have much to barter. The prey around them wasn’t very fond of the cold, and even though they tried to branch out to other meats, the taste was never the same.

A little while later they reached their destination and started unpacking. Luna’s dad had given her her own hunting bow for her 7th birthday. Before that she mainly had to sit around and watch her dad hunt for their supper. But now, two years later she was just as efficient with the weapon as her father. In fact, it was her that brought home the big kill last month. Her dad had been so impressed, he let her keep the tastiest bit of meat for herself. 

“OK kiddo, it’s time to get into position. Remember, from now on there will be no more talking, unless you want to scare dinner away,” her dad told her with a smirk. 

Luna gave him a quick nod, and put her game face on. 

They didn’t have to wait long. About twenty minutes into their stake-out they could hear approaching movement in front of them. This was Luna’s favorite part. She hadn’t actually spotted the mark yet, but knew it was only a matter of seconds. She got into position, lined up her arrow and…

-WHOOSH

…down went her kill!

Her dad put his finger to his lips and signaled for her to stay quiet. He often told her that this was an important part of their hunt. They needed to make sure their prey was actually dead, so it wouldn’t lash out or start being too noisy. You never knew what or who you might attract in these woods.

Luna silently walked behind her dad. Even though she had been doing this most of her life, she couldn’t help feeling a bit anxious around their game. She’d even felt sad in the past, but she would never reveal that to her dad. She realized how important hunting was for their survival. Luna understood that if she wanted a belly full of food every day, she needed to keep her emotions in check.

She gave her dad a quick glance, who seemed certain that she truly had hit her mark. He pointed towards her kill and she quickly saw the arrow protruding from its head. 

Now came the hard part of their hunt. They needed to bring their kill back to their hut without anyone seeing them. It was a good thing Luna’s dad was so strong, which meant he could easily carry the body back on his shoulders all the way home. The only problem was that they had to take the long way back home, as being spotted by another person would have dire consequences. Luna never quite understood why. She had often questioned her dad, but he simply told her that some people might not agree with their way of living. 

After a taxing track back to their hut, Luna’s father started stringing up their kill by its feet. He hung it high over a big bucket, so the blood wouldn’t go wasted. Her dad was insistent that every part of their kill should be used, and blood sausage was one of his specialities. While her dad went inside to retrieve his tools, Luna decided to take a closer look at their future dinner. 

She often admired how different all their prey looked, and she was delighted that this one had long blonde hair. She always liked when their kill turned out to be a woman. Especially since her new stick dolly really needed some pretty hair…


Written by: Julia Lewis

 

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