Matt Hickey, S.O.L.
*2:00 a.m. Alarm*
You think to yourself, “Man I really don’t want to go this morning”
You get up anyway…
You can’t stand the thought of missing out on “THE DAY”, so you force yourself out of bed. “Today might be the day” you reinforce yourself. “You never know unless you go” you say aloud with a grin as you pick yourself up out of bed. You go through your usual morning routine and checks, just to make sure you don’t forget something. “We don’t want another ‘what do you mean you forgot your waders’ incident” you laugh, thinking about your buddy who had to share the dog stand one morning.
It’s been a tough year, and it seems like they get even tougher as the years go past. You’ve scouted every corner of every place you could think of, still no ducks. Yet you still place your money on the table, gambling your time and efforts toward the fainting odds. Your old dog doesn’t even want to get out of bed. You’ve hunted nearly every day of the season, or at least every day you could go, with rare success. You realize that your drive to succeed is overpowering your will to stay in your warm bed.
Lost in your own frustration, blind with ambition, you almost drive yourself insane over what? A duck? A duck, that is exactly the cause, because it is exactly the thing that brings you happiness. The victories far outweigh the losses, if only in your mind. So you fight forward, battle by battle, day by day. Victories will be won, and joy shared amongst the comrades who fought along beside you. A yearly battle between man and beast, 60 days of combat. 60 long, cold, harsh days, that will be full of bitterness and happiness. A war that will drive you to the brink of insanity. A war between you and the ducks, a war with madness.
There will be many more skirmishes fought on the watery battlefields in the years to come. The war will last as long as you can stand on your own two feet. When the day comes that you are old, and like the old dog, you struggle to find the reason to get out of bed, you will reflect on these days. The days you were utterly consumed by the devious duck, the days you were truly… “Mad at ‘em”.