Though I’ve hunted many a time
It makes me want to sit down and cry
When I remember the creature
I shot that managed to crawl away.
I was climbing a hill that sunny day
When from a pile of well-dried hay
Flew a grouse of plumage gray
I raised my gun as I often have
and drew a bead on that bird.
I squeezed the trigger,
The gun roared
and from the barrel BB’s poured.
The shot hit the target but not too square
As feathers flew
I knew I got that gracious bird.
To my surprise my astonished eyes
Couldn’t find that bird.
I knew I had hit him but finally realized
That he had crawled away to die.
I left that hill sorrowed inside.
- Donald Arthur March 31, 1968