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march, 2019

28mar1:00 am1:00 amFirst HuntBy Matt Sexsmith

fruits on display at a grocery store

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Our subject awakens to the wailing of its overseer, who sings the same tune to contact him as it does to signal his rise. As he begrudgingly silences his small, noisy partner, he begins the process of leaving his nest, made of wood, metal and whatever soft materials are available. The adolescent period of this species is quite marvelous. During their late developmental period, their bodies undergo a metamorphosis of sorts and pump them full of hormones, causing them to often make very poor decisions. Due to this, most don’t flock their nest until the end stages of adolescence, around 18 or 19 years.

 

Some, however, choose to, or are forced to leave as early as 16, and others when they are much further into their adult lives, even into their 30’s. The fascinating creatures that they are, the young of human beings are raised and sent out into the world each in their own unique, yet similar way. Our subject, a 19-year-old male, has only left his nest for about two months. Our fledgling adult seems to have forgotten many of the basic grooming rituals ingrained in him since his wings first spread. Today he looks to change this.

 

After he gives himself some much-needed grooming, our young subject sets off on his first hunt since he flew the nest.

 

The human species are descended from a group of ape-like hunter gatherers. Although their methods have changed in the thousands of years since they first branched off from their ape ancestors, humans are at their core, much the same hunters and gatherers they once were.

 

While early humans hunted with sharpened sticks and primitive bows, the modern human wields a coloured piece of refined dinosaur bits.

 

The young hunter makes his way to the local hunting grounds with a flock of other humans. His preferred area, No Frills, is filled with easy to obtain but low-quality prey. However, today he has options. The alternative, Whole Foods, is filled with prey that on the surface looks to be high quality but is usually not much different from the prey found at No Frills. However, Whole Foods does provide an increased chance of finding higher quality prey that has been wounded, compared to No Frills. Wounded prey is referred to among humans as being “on sale.” The keen, yet cocky hunter that he is, our subject risks a foray into Whole Foods, brazenly forgoing the catalogue, which documents popular wounded prey, or “sales” in the area.

 

As our young hunter enters the store, he keeps a close eye out for wounded prey, as well as a subspecies of human known as “Karen.” The Karen is a subsidiary of human females, and are known to flock to the Whole Foods hunting grounds in droves.

 

Our young subject traps his prey in a large metal basket, waiting to deliver the killing blow until he has gathered enough prey. He gracefully navigates the hunting ground, scanning the area and swooping in to catch wounded prey. As his basket fills, he scans the area for one last target, until at last he sets his eyes upon it. His favourite prey, a family size box of Froot Loops. As he begins his pursuit, he quickly sweeps the area looking for potential threats when suddenly, his eyes fill with dread. He has locked his gaze with a Karen. In an instant, he knows this will be a fight. He weighs the risks of engaging the Karen in a battle over the prey and, with his muscles tensed, begins his chase. Straightening his arms, our subject becomes noticeably more aerodynamic, allowing him to cut through the air as he bursts into an intense power walk. It looks like our young hunter may make it to his prey before the Karen – but oh no! Just as he grasps his prey, the Karen wraps her claws around the hunter’s prize. His body immediately freezes in anticipation of the Karen’s potential action. A brief moment passes before the Karen lets out her shrill battle cry.

 

“I saw it first! Don’t make me call the manager!”

 

In that moment, our hunter’s youthfulness shows. This is his first solo hunt, and he has always had the aid of his parents in dealing with Karens. Afraid of the ensuing social interaction, and subsequent awkwardness, he backs down and goes for the lower quality prey “Fruity Circles” adjacent from him. Although his pride has been wounded, he walks away relatively unscathed, save for a small scratch from the Karen’s recently honed claw (as a side note, the Karen’s claws typically double or even triple in size compared to average humans. This is due to their frequent visits to small human gathering grounds called “nail salons”).

 

Our hunter takes his prey to the edge of the hunting grounds, disappointed with his loss of his final catch, but still satisfied with his haul and first solo hunt. He has collected enough food and other materials to last him weeks. At the edge of the grounds, our hunter delivers the final blow to his collected prey and begins his journey back to the nest.

 

Although not a perfect hunt, our young subject learned much from his first solo outing. Perhaps next time he will be more prepared, or perhaps even bring a companion to share the hunt. Oddly, humans tend to do their best, but also their worst, when collaborating with other members of their species.

 

Regardless, human beings are an unpredictable sort, so only time will tell.

 

 

Photo by Devon Divine on Unsplash

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