It was a dark and stormy night.. November 5th, 2006, when i changed forever. Before that night, i’d never wanted to be a hunter. The idea of killing any creature left me bereft. But that evening, after sharing a candlelight dinner with my husband, an odd feeling came over me. We had filet mignon that night, with mashed potatoes, gravy and squash. A perfect fall meal. Phil asked me if i ever wanted to go hunting with him, and i said no, but i grew more curious. What did it feel like to stalk and kill prey? We watched Rear Window after dinner and shared some red wine, still by candlelight. The storm left us without power, and we didn’t expect it back until morning.
When the movie was over, i told him i was tired and went up to bed.. but not before he teased me about my older age. I’m four years older than he. Not much older, but he still gets to say he’s younger, and i’m a cougar. Makes me smile every time! He came up an hour later, and i pretended to sleep. But i’d been lying awake the entire hour pondering. Once Phil was asleep, i crept out of bed. I was restless. I looked at myself in the mirror, and i changed before my own eyes. I then went for a walk in the forest. We live out of town, so it’s easy to do. It was so peaceful. Until two poachers disturbed my solitude. I loathe poachers. My father, who was an avid hunter before he passed away, despised them also. It was then that i knew i could be a marvelous hunter. I wanted to kill. That night, i killed both men, and i wasn’t a bit remorseful.
Now it’s 2016, and during hunting season, i do my hunting at night. I can get away with it. I have the stealth and knowledge of the forest. I’m no fool greedy for a kill. I take my time. This morning, i was out to breakfast with Phil, and when he went to the restroom, i overheard a man talking at the next table. He bragged to his two buddies about tonight’s activities and where he’d be. Not on my watch. Tonight i’ll kill again, and he won’t see me coming. I’ll wait until Phil is asleep. I’ll change. Then i’ll go for my walk in the woods. This guy won’t see me coming. He won’t hear me stalking. He won’t know a thing. Just one fatal neck bite is all it takes. And i’ll leave him there to rot. That’s what we cougars do. We’re experts at the silent stalk and kill. It’s my job, and one i immensely enjoy. I’m a cougar by day and a cougar by night…
By M. Raynes
PS.. I’d been thinking, recently, about beginning a story with the phrase, it was a dark and stormy night. 🙂 It has been used A LOT over the years, but i think it’s fun and old fashioned, rather like once upon a time. Then one of my friends suggested it, and i thought, well, perfect timing! So, here you go. Hope you like it. And Marty, this is especially for you.