With a languidness the great bird lifted itself off the branch,
It was much older now but it still had a mate and young chicks to feed.
From the hide across the hill the hunter could hear the steady beat
of those great powerful wings, slowly pounding out their regular note.
He watched, fascinated by the beautiful golden colours that gave the bird its name
as the great creature soared off up into the air, to begin its slow steady scout for food.
Now that the eagle was aloft you could almost hear a pin drop, save for the odd sound
of running water slowly trickling down the hillside into the burn far below.
The hunter had quietly settled in this spot some four hours ago before dawn,
he was comfortable and had set his rangefinder on the eerie right from the start.
Now he just had to wait, but patience was one thing that he had in spades.
His skills as a sniper had been fully tested in foreign lands some years before.
Too many of the enemy had appeared in the cross-hairs of his rifle sights
and when they had they’d never reached the end of that day, he was that good.
That had been the problem, being that good you get called on more until…
He swore he would never again pick up a rifle containing live ammunition,
so here he was preparing for the perfect shot with his sniper rifle,
waiting to put a tranquiliser dart into this majestic golden eagle above, to protect him.
He never expected that this work would be so fulfilling, but here in the hills
He found job satisfaction and this work was certainly worthwhile, and no one died.
The eagle had spotted something for he was starting to rise and tilt his wings.
The hunter had watched him for days and had become very familiar with his method.
He would circle to come in from behind of course, but this canny chap had a trick,
he would come in so low he was never really in the prey’s field of vision long enough.
There was the prey, a rabbit who wasn’t too alarmed yet, but that would soon change…
and there he goes, darting about in a zigzag trying to throw the monster off his trail
with the hunter watching the eagle down, and as he lined up to swoop at the rabbit
at almost a hundred miles an hour, the hunter fired and the great bird fell to the ground.
He fired at the point where the eagle was closest to the ground, not wanting to hurt him.
The rabbit lived and the hunter packed away his rifle and walked back down the hill.
Others would do the tagging and the hunter would wait for his next call……
©Joe Wilson – The Hunter…2014