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The deer that broke my heart: the story of a daughter's rebellion against her father's hunting tradition




Every time I was supposed to go hunting with my father, I tried to convince my family that I was not feeling well. At first I asked my mother for understanding, referring to headaches or severe abdominal cramps. These were the initial excuses when my role in the hunt was simply observation. I watched my father kill animals and thought he would never ask me to do such a thing. He spared me until my sixteenth birthday, then predicted that I would soon kill my first deer.

Drops of sweat were creeping down the back of my neck, I was wiping my wet hands on my jeans. I changed tactics. I started showing symptoms of the disease a few days before going to the forest. To postpone this imminent atrocity, I was ready to do anything. I once ate a raw potato because a friend told me it made me hot. And diarrhea if you overdo it, I quickly learned. The second time I fell off my bike on purpose and allowed myself a few weeks of peace.

Not because of me, but because of himself, my father checked on me every day. I knew that he selfishly wanted to hang a picture of me and my first animal to take its life on the wall. In the kitchen, where all his little deities hung: a picture of me when I was barely a month old, a cross, a deer head and a wedding picture.

As I lay recovering from the new wounds I had purposely inflicted to avoid another hunt, I made up my mind. I decided to resist. I will say "no". I don't go hunting. I don't want a gun. I don't want to hear a stray bullet. I will not witness the fear of animals. I will not watch the pain. I don't want a scary look. I do not want to!

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