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by Frederick Van Kirk
copyright 03-09-2006

Age Rating: 7 +

For uncounted years to the children,
Fearful stories he had told;
Of wolves and bears and battles won,
Ere the witch had cursed him old.

The grown ones smiled and remembered,
Always the same stories upon his tongue;
Of being a hunter of great prowess,
When he and the world, were young.

The witch lay heavy upon him now,
By her hand he was stooped and bent,
But like a gnarled and leafless oak,
Could stand against the hurricane,
And all that nature sent.

Then there came a hard winter,
Summers earth had refused to yield.
The children cried with hunger;
Roused, the old hunter again went afield.

He could count his bones that dawn,
As he stood in the frosty wood;
But as the gold slanted through the trees,
Deep in his soul, he felt warm and good.

Two youths he had taken with him,
To teach them the hunters lore.
He taught all was known of wolf and bear,
And without knowing, taught them more.

Courage in themselves they learned,
And God's mystery was revealed,
That all things are of Him, for He;
Made the hunter, the beast, and the field.

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