Flash: Dustu Hunting

Image: Photo 94880168 | Indigenous North Carolina © John Wollwerth | Dreamstime.com
CHEROKEE, NORTH CAROLINA-JUNE 17, 2017: A Cherokee Indian uses a traditional blowgun.
NOTE: Picture is for SALE on dreamtime. I paid for use of this. If you choose to use the photo elsewhere,
please give credit (and money) to the artist. Thank you.

Last year’s leaves under the new leaf-fall itched, but Dustu did not move. His six-foot blow gun was aimed at the autumn berry bushes, a favorite of small birds. A younger sister rested nearby. She already had four birds on a string, ready to be taken back and shared. To feed everyone, they needed six.

Waiting patiently for the birds to calm after the last kill resulted in an unexpected bounty. A group of turkeys scratched at the bottom of the bushes, getting food the bright-songs and angry-flyers couldn’t access. Dustu dropped his aim to the large ground birds. He wasn’t the best shot of the tribe, but patience brought in food as much as accuracy.


A turkey head, eye, lined up perfectly. Dustu blew the hand-length dart down the cane tube with one hard breath.

His sister’s whoop chased away other possible prey, but they had enough. More than enough. Some of today’s meat will be dried for the winter months.

(words 164; first published 10/8/2023)

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