CORNERED BY A CRANE.
The leader of the flock offers a tempting shot at 35 yards ; him I give the contents of my right barrel, and he doubles up instantly over my sight. Not wasting an instant in the hope of making my “right and left ” I “ cut away ” again at the now thoroughly alarmed flock, and one more of the immense birds comes to the ground. Too elated with my success to exercise patience or, even to think of caution, I do not pause to reload, but dropping my gun run rapidly to bag. The first is found dead within 40 yards ; giving him only a glance, I pass on to the other which is not less than GO yards from the blind. The old fellow seems dead enough, and without much ado I stoop to pick him up, when he astonishes me by instantly rising to his feet with every feather ruffled and his long wings boating the air. His ugly sharp bill is extended and emits a hissing noise, and altogether he is a very unpleasant-looking bird. For a full minute we gaze at each other, at least one of the two at a loss what to do next. It is becoming more and more evident to me that I do not care so much for him now as I did a short time ago. We are yet eyeing each other as I catch the sound of noises mingled with the confused tramp of horses, and feel certain that the plough-boys are approaching. Not caring to appear in a ridiculous light, above all others to these men, I determine to put an end to the scene, and accordingly make a quick attempt to seize the crane by the neck. This he successfully dodges, and in a twinkling wounds me in the wrist. Altogether out of patience, I make a bold dart for my gun, when, to my astonishment, the irate crane gives pursuit. At this moment the farm hands come into full view, and I ofi’er them the spectacle of the “ city hunter,” as they are pleased to style me, running away from a crane ! The rest of the scene must be imagined. Ido not attempt a settlement with the tormentors, but after finishing my enemy with a vengeful charge at close range, return to my blind, where I have the satisfation of knocking over three more cranes before the summons to breakfast comes booming over the stubble. —“ Scribner’s Monthly.”
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