Jethro learned over and whispered in his son’s ear, “Now.”
“No!” Billy said in a loud voice. The buck, which had been standing between the two trees, looked up when it heard Billy’s voice and then bolted out of sight.
Jethro smacked his son upside the head. “Look what you done, boy,” he said. “You had a perfect shot, goddam it. What’s the matter with you.”
“I’m wet and cold and tired and hungry,” Billy said, “and I don’t want to shoot no deer.”
“You don’t think I’m wet and cold, boy?” Jethro snapped. “I’m out here in this mess trying to teach you a valuable skill and you don’t want to shoot no deer? What are you, some kind of sissy?”
“I just don’t see why we need to shoot and kill a beautiful, defenseless animal, Dad,” Billy said. “It’s not like we need its hide to keep warm or its meat to eat.”
“You don’t know that, boy,” Jethro said. “Might come the day when you gotta fend for yourself and if you don’t learn these skills I’m trying to teach you, you’re gonna be shit outta luck.”
“I’d rather be shit outta luck than ruthlessly kill other living creatures,” Billy said.
Jethro smacked his son upside his head once again. “Dammit, boy, you need to learn how to survive. It’s a kill or be killed world out there and you need to learn how to protect and defend yourself and your family. You hear me boy?”
Billy looked at his father and said, “That deer wasn’t going to kill me. I didn’t need to protect myself or you by shooting it. Shooting and killing that innocent deer for sport is the very definition of cruelty and is what is wrong with the human race.”
Jethro looked up toward the sky. “Dear Lord,” he said, “what did I do to you for you to curse me with an animal lovin’, tree huggin’, sissy-boy liberal?” Then he looked at Billy and said, “Wait until your momma finds out what kind of boy her son has become.”
“Oh she knows, Dad,” Billy said. “She knows.”
Written for the Thursday Photo Prompt from Sue Vincent.