Friday, July 13, 2007

Signs of a Bright Future in America

Copies of the June and July issues of Earth Dog - Running Dog magazine arrived in the post yesterday and I got to reading them just before work.

I was in the letters section and came across a delightful letter from 8-year old Morgan Hendley who writes:

"The story starts when I was just a baby. My dad would take me in a backpack when he went out with the dogs. As long as I can remember I have gone out with him and enjoyed the day, even when he dropped me out of the backpack headfirst into the hole he was digging! It's not like he meant it. He was pulling out the terrier, and leaned over a bit too far. I have gone every year, and it gets better and better.

"I love hunting with my dad. I am so happy when I am out hunting. He also hunts almost every week with his friend Greg D. Greg says I am their good luck charm. Last time I was out with them we caught 5 groundhogs! I think that is good luck.

"Now that it is summer, I will be hunting a lot more with my dad. I hope that some of you who read this will take your kids out hunting. My dad says it is important as one day I will need to do the digging. He is proud that I defend hunting to people that don't understand it, and people who say it is wrong. I know better. I have learned so much being outside, and I've seen a lot of things I wouldn't have if my dad didn't take me. I know I will hunt for the rest of my life."

When I got to the reference to Greg D., of course, I checked the byline and realized this was Jo's daughter, growing up fast and being raised right as rain. Congrats to Jo and Mrs. Jo.

I looked closely at the picture of young Morgan in the magazine; a real cutie with what looked to be strawberry blonde hair and two young lurchers by her side.

And then I remembered reading Rebecca O'Connor's "eight random things" post even earlier in the morning in which she said she was raised by her grandparents and that any man coming to woo her could forget about diamonds: come instead with an offering of a good falcon and excellent hawk dog.

An interest in field sports. Red hair. Women. An ability to write. Good parents and grandparents. That rare thing called common-sense values. Is it just me, or can you too see a bit of Morgan in Rebecca, and vice versa? And Morgan could not have a better model as a writer than Rebecca. Check out this story (PDF) of hers from The South Dakota Review.

Bottom Line: The future of America is so bright I may need to get new sunglasses. Is this a great country or what? .


Rebecca K. O'Connor said...

Wow. (she wipes away tears) Wow. My grandparents had me from the time I was four until I went away to college at Davis. My grandfather took me to my uncle's hunting camp in Pennsylvannia for the whole summer when I was 8. He taught me to fly fish, how to hold a shotgun, when to watch the sky for migrating wonders, how to raise tadpoles, and how to spot a hidden fawn. It's his fault I'm a falconer. He pointed out the peregrine with jesses on our rooftop one fall and spun me a story that I couldn't forget. I miss him desperately, but he left me with a catalogue of possibilities for moments of wonder and happiness. Morgan is indeed a kindred spirit. Take note all you Daddies out there and take your daughter outside.

gabboon said...

How about this:

paul said...

A small memory from just a few years go when my now 13 year old daugther was in 1st grade and she told her teacher Mrs. VanGelder that she really liked bunnies, but added "...except for the insides because they're all stringy". Mrs. VanGelder relayed this story to us at our parent teacher meeting with a questioning look on her face, we told her her about our falconry practices and she just smiled. Her husband sets up a teepee at school every fall and cooks a big pot of elk stew over an open fire for Mrs. VanGelder's class.

The daughter of an internet acqaintance from GA:

gabboon said...

"the insides are all stringy" hee hee hee...

I send my daughter to preschool with pictures of hawks, owls etc for show and tell to break in the teachers for those stories they might otherwise think aren't true.

Even without falconry, my parents often had some interesting teacher conferences.

its good to see that some parents are continuing the tradition