I have an uncle who likes to classify birds in one of two ways.
Not a duck.
Duck, clearly, being the preferred type.
On another beautiful, blue sky, fall day my mom and I went out pheasant hunting. We started out with a bang. Trip had a perfect point and retrieve for me and then my Mom and her dog got a bird. (It was probably just as perfect but I didn’t witness it. So for the purposes of this post my dog wins the Most Perfect Dog award). Just after that Storm held a point for me for ages. Ages, because that’s how long it took me to realize she was missing, search her out in the long grass, find her locked on point, come up next to her and finally flush the pheasant. It was a great point and, fortunately, I was shooting straight that day. The bird went down and Storm ran off after it only to return with a slightly damp pheasant. Which was odd, but there was a bit of water around so I didn’t think too much of it.
I should have.
Apparently Storm was looking for ducks.
Mom shot the last bird of the day and I watched as Storm took off after it for the retrieve. She picked it up, ran directly to a very large, muddy puddle and dunked the pheasant in the middle of it. For those of you unfamiliar with how bird hunting with dogs work, let’s be kind to John’s dog (remember that fantastic point!) and just say that’s… not the ideal retrieve. After the pheasant’s initial dunking I believe she looked at it and was still un-satisfied with it’s not-a-duck appearance. So Storm, nosed it and mouthed it, repeatedly rolling it over and over in the giant mud puddle until it was a dark, soggy, mass of feathers.
At this point it may have been a good idea to work on some dog training but it’s quite possible that my mom was too busy making indignant comments on the worthiness of John’s dog while I was too busy giggling and taking pictures, so we didn’t. Eventually Storm crawled out of the mud hole with the sodden mass of feathers. It still didn’t look quite like a duck but on the other hand it no longer looked like any pheasant I’ve ever seen retrieved!
I picked it up, heaviest pheasant I’ve ever handled, and stuffed it into my mom’s game vest for her. I think I heard her sloshing a bit on the way back to the truck.
As for Storm? I’m pretty sure that this weekend John needs to take his dog duck hunting.