The Native Hunter

With passing of time,
     the Indian did acquire
A gun, to load and prime;
     to shoulder, aim and fire.

But still, I see a use,
     for the weapon of older day,
In slough, to shoot a goose,
     in wood, a deer to slay.

A gun with firing sound,
      a noise of course doth make;
And in a woods, around,
      the sound could reverberate...

The blast of barreled gun
       could frighten game to run;
To keep the shadow'd forest quiet,
       better the bow, to hunt for diet

The native, an arrowhead,
        did fashion by flaking stone;
He could press the rock to shed,
        its pieces off with bone:

With an antler of creature cervine,
        he could press an antler tine, 
To form a pointed wedge,
        to shape a cutting edge.

It might be jasper, chert or flint,
        the point to newly mint;
An agate with a little color,
        or something a little duller.

To guide the arrow, aright,
        he fletched with avian plume:
So straighter it flew in flight,
        and more its mark assume...

The native hunted the deer...
       and silently drew he near,
In quiet unquiver'd an arrow,
       and nocked his shaft so narrow...

And pulling back the sinew,
       the string, the bow he bent;
Then, releasing the arrow, it flew!
       With a sibilant zip, it went!
Shod in kindred leather,
        he let the speeding arrow fly...
And swiftly, with guide of feather
    ―no more a deer, to hasten and hie...
The fleet of foot,
        this denizen of the woods...
Provided him with venison,
        or other useful goods:     
Like needles from slivers of bone,
        and garments, from skin were sewn.
On such as these he did subsist:
       he hunted to live, and to exist.   
John Riedell

         While the Indian could use whatever worked, in making a bow and arrow, a bowstring of sinew was chosen here.  It's said that the neck of a snapping turtle made the best bowstring, but this of course would depend on availablity.
         The kindred leather refers to the Indian moccasin made of deer hide, from the animal he's shooting..

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Site Last Updated on 02/11/15