Among the most elusive of all interview subjects, big game hunters must rank in the top 5. Once, this was a popular past time for the rich, with the ever thinning population of most animals it has now become something of a rarity. Many former hunters have become wardens, to ensure that enough of the pairs breed sufficiently to not die out. Who knows, maybe future generations again will be able to hunt these creatures again for sport.
Through painstaking research and meetings in darkened rooms, in lonely huts and, once, in a 1970’s roller disco themed restaurant I had managed to make contact with one of the few remaining big game hunters. Hunting is now limited to preserves that have a quota: these quotas are carefully balanced to provide funds for the preserve, a regular and controlled thinning of the herds and, of course, sport for the hunter. Less scrupulous people, however, will take their sport where they can find it.
I walked into the great hall. I could hear servants quietly moving around the room, rearranging furniture, dusting trophies. My eyes saw only the vast array of heads pinned to the walls. They ranged from lions to antelopes to cats and dogs. A seemingly empty piece of wood bore the legend “The Common Flea”. Clearly I was in the presence of a great killer. From the corner of my eye, I could see what appeared to be a dragon’s head, but my attention was captured by the sound of boots striking the wooden flooring. The hunter was approaching.
A leonine head of hair, the grace of a panther and the ferocity of a half-starved catwalk model. I was immediately captivated. As the sound of the boots grew ever closer I could see servants hurriedly gathering up discarded weaponry and checking it for wear. A hand came up, the finger pointing at the only bare spot on the wall – I could feel beads of sweat gathering on my forehead.
I gasped for air, I was finally in the presence of this magnificent creature and already my first question was ready.
“With all, all, this, what more is left? What is left to go after?” I hated myself for stammering, I mustn’t show fear here of all places.
Miley Cyrus smiled, adjusted her battered safari hat and received a rifle from one of her servants.
“The most dangerous game of all.”
As I ran, I could hear her draw back the bolt on the rifle.