Forty-year-old Dale Farr and his wife, thirty-five-year-old Susan, finished packing for their trip to Africa. “Are you ready, Susan?
“Yes. I’ll ring for Walter,” she said and rang for the butler, who came after a minute.
Dale put two rifles that were in leather cases into the trunk.
“I see you have your guns,” Susan said judgmentally. “I have my camera. Cameras can’t murder animals.”
“Here we go again. I know. I know. You don’t like the idea of me killing animals. Susan, it’s sport. Besides, it’s what people do. They kill. All the crime that’s committed and the wars that are being fought everywhere prove that humans like to kill. Right?”
“I guess you’re right. Humans are killers.”
“So, do you want to hunt with me? I have two rifles.”
“No thanks. I’ll probably stay at the lodge while you’re out killing defenseless animals.”
“Lions are not defenseless,” Dale said defensively.
“Do the lions have guns, Dale?”
Harry and Walter loaded the luggage, and Harry got in the driver’s seat. “Take me to my plane, Harry,” Dale ordered, and Harry drove off. At the plane, the luggage was loaded, Dale and his wife boarded, and the pilot took off. When they finally arrived at a small airport, their luggage was taken to a van, and they were driven to a hunting lodge where they were greeted by Johann Keller, the owner.
“Mr. and Mrs. Farr. How nice to see you. My men will take your luggage to your room. Come inside and have a cold drink and we’ll talk,” he said, and they went inside and sat at a table, and a waiter brought lemonade. “I understand that you are after a lion. You paid the $19,500 fee, correct?”
“Yes. Here’s the receipt,” he said and gave Johann the receipt.
“Good. Everything’s in order. We wouldn’t want problems with the government. I’ve arranged for a vehicle, and a professional hunter, who will take you into the bush. They will have a radio so you can call me in case you need help.”
“That’s great. I’m really looking forward to this hunt.”
“The next morning, at six, Dale and Aaron, the tracker, headed into the bush. After an hour, Aaron, stopped the jeep. “Look there,” he said pointing. “It is the remains of a kill. The lions are nearby. He pointed to a large patch of trees and bushes. “The lions are probably in there.”
“What should we do?”
“We wait,” Aaron said.
“Hey, “Look there. A female is coming out of the bush, and her cubs are following her. Great. Four for the price of one,” Dale said taking aim.
“Stop. It is not allowed to kill a mother with her cubs.”
“Okay. Whatever you say,” Dale said and wiped dust off his rifle. “Well, I came here to kill,” he thought and shot the mother and the three cubs.”
“What have you done?” Aaron said angrily. “What you did was not allowed. It was cruel. You people come here just to kill,” Aaron yelled, “and I will have no part this senseless killing any longer,” he growled and drove back to the lodge and told Keller what happened.
“Mr. Farr, What you did was immoral, cruel, and illegal. I must ask you to leave my lodge, and you may not come back here ever.”
Dale and his wife got a ride to his plane. Nothing was said between Dale and Susan on the way to the plane. Luggage was loaded, and the pilot took off. “Dale, I can’t believe you were so cruel and uncaring. I don’t understand how you could have killed a mother and her cubs.”
“Everybody complains. Why do you think those animals are there? They’re there for us to kill. That’s why God made animals. They’re there for food and sport. Killing is natural, so stop the preaching and judging,” he said angrily.
When they got home, the chauffeur and butler picked up the luggage to take the suitcases upstairs. “Harry, leave the blue suitcase down here, please.”
“Yes, Mrs. Farr.”
“Why don’t you want them to take your suitcase upstairs?”
“I decided to visit my sister for a couple of days. I’ll drive up to her place after we have dinner.”
“Are you leaving to get away from me?”
“I just want to get away, and don’t tell me we got away when we went to Africa.”
After dinner, the butler carried her luggage to her car, and she drove away. “Okay, go. I don’t care what you think. I am no different than most people, and I won’t apologize, and I’ll go hunting again, maybe tomorrow,” he said defiantly. “Keller’s isn’t the only hunting lodge,” he said, puffed up his pillows, and watched a late movie.
The next morning, Dale rang for his butler. “Walter, please take my luggage down to the car,” he said and then called his pilot. “Vince, get the plane ready. We’re going to Africa.” While on the plane, he called the Morgan hunting lodge in South Africa and made a reservation for a hunt and scheduled a pickup at the airport.
When he arrived, a van met him at the airport and drove him to the Morgan Hunting lodge. “Welcome, Mr. Farr. Your room is ready and you will have a vehicle and one tracker to take you into the bush tomorrow at 7:00. Come in out of the sun, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to see your receipt for the permit,” he said, and Dale showed him the papers. “Thank you. Good luck on your hunt,” he said and left.
The next morning, John, his tracker, drove into the bush. “There, in that thicket is where there will be lions. We can wait here for your trophy to come out.”
“It’s been two hours. Maybe there aren’t any lions there.”
“Believe me, there are lions there.”
“Damn, I’m not waiting any longer,” he said and got out of the jeep and walked slowly to the thicket.
“No, Mr. Farr. Come back. It’s too dangerous.”
Dale didn’t listen and continued to walk to the thicket. When he was twenty yards away, a female with cubs burst out of the thicket and jumped on Dale tearing him apart.
Susan Farr returned home after two days with her sister, and the butler came out of the house to take her suitcase. “Walter, is my husband at home?”
“Yes, Mrs. Farr. He’s been home since you returned from your trip to Africa two days ago,” he said and followed her up to her bedroom. “Dale, I’m home,” she called as she entered the bedroom, stopped, and fainted.
The police were called, and two detectives stood by the bed. “Jack, I’ve never seen anything like this. He’s been torn to pieces. There’s almost nothing left of him. What could have done this?”
BIO: While teaching speech and English at a community college, Mr. Greenblatt wrote short stories and plays, one of which won a reading at Smith College. After retiring, he wrote short stories and novellas. Several of his stories were published in on-line magazines, and others were published in print anthologies.