Friday, November 14, 2008

Misplaced Values

Wild Plants and Wooly Bears

How far the State of Maine has fallen from the days when rural residents met in some small town and asked one another, “Get your deer yet?”

In the days of my youth, getting a winter supply of meat for your family was a token of honor. “Young Tom did all right,” one old-timer might say to another upon hearing that I had procured some venison. Today, nobody asks and nobody tells. In fact, most of us make it a point to remove any type of clothing that might mark us as hunters before venturing into town.

Only today, I went to my doctor’s office to pick up some medications and the receptionist, the doctor’s wife, asked me the age-old question, did I get my deer. She then went on to tell how one of my neighbors, a young lady who often brings home the proverbial bacon, “got her deer” just last week. To this, a woman in the waiting room who had apparently been eavesdropping began moaning about “the poor deer.”

I addressed her in a gentle manner and reminded her that she was being rude. Then, a man standing nearby began to chuckle. He wore a smirk that you could spot a mile away. I shook my head in disgust and walked out.

Such is the treatment that anyone guilty of obtaining their own food from our woods and waters is apt to receive in this age of misplaced values.

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