This weekend was just odd and took me to a most unusual place. This weekend I went to the Deer & Turkey Expo at the state fairgrounds. Colin and I were assigned by a local paper to cover it (he doing the writing, me the illustration) so we went. I'll just start by saying that I am against hunting. So when we walked in and saw a million disembodied deer heads hanging from the walls and turkeys all spread out and stuffed, I was horrified. I actually felt like a deer walking into the pavilion. I thought every one of the camouflage-wearing men would know my stance, drag me out by the hair and beat me to a pulp. I was scared.
We tried to look nonchalant and walked around and spied the latest in hunting gear. The newest decoys and camouflaged tents and guns and chains. We spoke to a couple of people who told us about the great hunting education programs they have for children. Eight year olds with shotguns. We saw the shooting gallery they set up with hay bails holding white targets. We watched a looping movie of an actual hunt set to thrasher music. And we just kept walking...
Until we came upon one booth at the back of the show with a large black cage. In it was a full-grown live elk, laying down in the hay looking sad and broken spirited. He hung his head and his watery eyes slowly took in all his dead family members and all the people gawking at him.
I started to cry.
Colin ushered me out quickly so I wouldn't make a scene.
In the car on the way home I battled with what my illustration should show. How would I draw this? (The illustration above is not what I turned in.) I drew several cavemen with camouflage and high-tech gear. But it was looking very mean-spirited. I drew an innocent deer surrounded by all the gadgets that were used to track it. (Not mean enough.) After thinking for a while and drawing different scenes I landed on a more subtle message. I ended up drawing four deer head on the wall with a man looking up at them, saying...well, I'll post the illustration here when I'm allowed to.
The rest of the weekend wasn't nearly as terrible. It most consisted of movie watching and reading and coffee drinking and relaxing until the very last of my sickness retreats.