The Hunter’s Song

During the old days the hunters would sing perennial shanties. They sang it when they were in good spirits and felt luck was going to be on their side. Before a big hunt they would gather at the Swann Inn or any other tavern at the town they were at, as they congregated with other hunters, shared stories, and mirth was abound. Just like pirates were comfortable at sea, these hunters felt complacent as they hunted. One of these land shanty’s was called, ‘Early in the Morning.’

Going hunting early in the morning,

Going hunting early in the morning,

Going hunting early in the morning,

Carry my bow and spears to draw my luck

Sneak upon a boar and shoot him on the spot

We will roast the boar, oh what a delight it will be

Filling up my belly till I fall asleep.

Going hunting early in the morning,

Going hunting early in the morning,

Going hunting early in the morning,

Carry my sword and club to catch my prey

Sneak upon an elk or two and kill him in a flash

We will skin the elk and cook its meat

Filling up my belly till I fall asleep

Not everyone liked hunters, some saw them as vagrants and wretched humans, wandering from one place to another searching for better hunting grounds. Other times for the perfect prey. They once heard that the ghost cat once roamed the north mountains. No hunter wanted to miss the opportunity to catch the infamous ghost cat, an animal no one has ever seen but heard stories about. Many hunters, spent months scouting for the ghost cat but no trace was ever found but that did not deterred them.

Each hunter had a different way of hunting. One hunter had pieced together a boar suit and on his hands and knees he would crawl around the ground until it caught sight of its prey. Another hunter would cover itself in mud from head to toe and sit next to a tree as it waited. The most silliest of costumes was a man who dressed as a tree while he fished for fear that if they saw a man and not a tree they would swim away. No matter how they dressed anyone could tell someone was a hunter by their garb. They wore plain pantaloons, Raleigh shirts, Inverness cape, a weapon or two and their mistrusting nature.

They travelled alone sometimes in pairs but no more than three to a group. They were solitary men with little to say to others but stories to tell to other hunters. The fancier the story the more impressed they were of the hunter. There was one man who reputed to killing a hundred birds of all species even the most rarer of all birds like the Phoenix. He did it with his bow and with his only arrow.

Shanties’ were written of these adventures and their hunters making them a tradition every time they came together.

Legend of Archibal

to be continued…