Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cecil the Lion

Cecil, I'm heartbroken.
The world weeps for you.
When tragedy arrives, the musician turns to rhythm, the writer turns to words and the poet turns to rhyme. I wish I were a musician or a poet right now to be able to use my talent to express my deep sadness at the senseless killing of this majestic animal. An ode would be appropriate, but all I could come up with was a couplet.
Cecil, I'm heartbroken.
The world weeps for you.
I'm not going to add my words to the online rant against the man who killed him. Plenty others have accomplished that. Instead I want to address this to the guides behind this cowardly act and to those who are in the guiding business.
Since I began the fly fishermen project, I was introduced to a whole new subculture, the hunters and fishers of the southern Appalachians. The men I met and wrote about were outdoorsmen who found solace and comfort in roaming the backwoods. They are the very ones who recognized the need to preserve what they love most, nature. They organized. They advocated. They pushed legislation and they supported the laws that were designed to defend the forests and the animals that are dear to their hearts.
The guides they spoke of were equally passionate in the love of the outdoors, whether leading hunts for elk in Colorado, for the elusive trout in Tasmania, or for the hidden, known to no one but themselves, fishing holes in the depths of the cloud shrouded Smoky Mountains. I have confidence that they are trustworthy caretakers of what has been handed to them. I have to have that confidence, because, if they aren't the trustworthy caretakers who follow professional ethics, there will be more Cecils in the future.
Cecil, I'm heartbroken.
The world weeps for you.
Integrity counts, even in the backwoods.
Catch of the day,

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post!

    My grandson and two son-in-laws are hunters and fishermen too but they also share have a deep respect for animals and the natural surroundings in which they pursue their sport.

    And I'm with you, Gretchen...Cecil, I'm heartbroken. The world weeps for you!