The Two Hunters
By Stuart Hillston
Once upon a time, in a world quite unlike our own, there were two hunters called Rabbie and Ellie. The hunters lived alone, each in a home next door to each other. The next nearest person lived a hundred miles away.
In this world animals were plentiful, and hunters ate meat – as this world is quite unlike ours, we can debate whether they should have been vegetarian another time. This is, after all, a fable.
They lived in an unusual part of their world, where there were only two types of animals. The small, furry and prolific animal quite like a rabbit, which we’ll just call Wabbits and the scarce, well dispersed pachyderm, a little like an elephant but without tusks, which we’ll just call Ellipants.
Being hunters, the two neighbours went hunting every day. They carried their weapons out in the open fields and forests and spent the day in pursuit of their quarry. Rabbie had a taste for Wabbits and the Ellie had a taste for Ellipants, so the two hunters rarely, if ever, saw each other during the day.
Each evening the hunters returned to their homes.
Most days Rabbie came home with a Wabbit in the bag, and so most days had something to eat. Wabbits were all around and bred like… well you get the idea. Rabbie bagged a Wabbit most days, which made just one main meal, and Rabbie didn’t have a freezer.
On the rare days when Rabbie missed, well these were days without a main meal. Rabbie had plenty of practice and rarely missed.
Most days Ellie came home with nothing. A little thinner from a lot of walking and definitely hungry. Thankfully Ellie had a freezer (or maybe two) and each Ellipant was carefully portioned up and would last a year.
This was a good thing, because it took Ellie about a year to bag an Ellipant. For some reason, though large, they were elusive and hard to find. And they always looked closer than they actually were. Ellie missed often, and got little practice, so each attempt had to count.
The hunters lived happily for the rest of their days, Rabbie catching Wabbits most days and Ellie catching Ellipants once a year.
Until that is, Ellie missed an important target and starved to death.
Moral: It is better to eat for a day most days than a year most years.
No rabbits, wabbits, elephants or ellipants were harmed in the making of this fable.