I always liked Chuck. He was a good old country boy who loved to 'coon hunt. Being from the west I knew nothing about that kind of thing.
Turns out its not really very sporting, as Chuck described it to me. Nor did it sound like much fun. First of all, you had to do it late at night. I like being up late at night, but traipsing around the forest in the cold doesn't sound like much fun to me.
Apparently the key to a successful 'coon hunt is a good 'coon dog. These dogs pick up the scent of the racoon and chase it until they run it up a tree. The hunter follows the dog and then shoots the 'coon -- sitting duck -- out of the tree.
As I said, it doesn't sound too sporting.
One day I saw Chuck getting ready for a late-night 'coon hunt. In the back of his truck were two cages into which he was coaxing his two hunting dogs.
"Why is it necessary for you to have two separate cages for the dogs?" I innocently asked.
Chuck looked at me, incredulous. "Are you kidding?" he said. "Why them dogs would kill each other if I put them in the same cage!"
"Really! Why is that?" I asked.
"Well, them dogs is made for huntin', and if they ain't huntin' 'coons, they'll be fightin' each other."
Made sense to me.
Later I mused: maybe that's why so many Christians and churches are fighting each other all the time. They were called to be fishers of men but instead they're caged up together. Denied their natural calling they resort to infighting, barking and -- dare I say it? -- territory pissing.