Caleb and I have been watching a lot of Yukon Men, Dual Survival and Bizarre Foods. So last week, he wanted to “knock out” a bird for dinner. I didn’t point out that he shouldn’t kill it. I didn’t honestly think there was a chance of him catching one. And he didn’t.
He later moved on to building a squirrel trap. My dad has some great ideas about building traps since he caught birds and mongoose as a kid. But I haven’t mentioned this to Caleb yet because he’s still pretty insistent on eating his catch for dinner.
Shane has already explained he’s not allowed to kill it but I’ve been wishy washy about it because when I do start to explain to him why he can’t kill it he looks so sad. He explains to me that the guys on Bizarre Foods and the other shows “get some good meat” from animals like birds and squirrels. And so I realize that if I told him sternly that he is to never ever kill the animal, he wouldn’t be able to see the point in setting up a trap.
I have to admit that this is all a little uncomfortable for me. I’m not a boy and I don’t get the desire to hunt and kill animals. But I’m trying to “embrace the boy”. I really do believe there is a purpose for kid’s behavior. We might find it barbaric, unruly or defiant, but sometimes it’s just an exercise in natural instinct. And his instinct is to provide dinner for his family, which I think is pretty awesome considering he’s only 8 years old.
I’d like him to get to the point of trapping the animal and then letting it so. I won’t help him build a trap until then.
At first he was trying to lure them close and then planned to launch a large pinecone at the squirrel’s head to knock it out. We had this conversation…
C: Mommy! You scared the squirrel away!!! Don’t talk to me right now!
Me: Are you really going to smash its head in with that pine cone?
C: ARGGGHHH!! No! I’m just going to knock it out. And then we can have it for dinner.
Me: Ok, but I’ve never cleaned an animal before.
C: Well you can learn. Just look it up on the internet.
Later, he came up with this on his own. Green leaves laid over a hole. Pecans on the leaves for bait. The bricks on the side are supposed to fall toward the hole and knock out the squirrel. I thought this was pretty smart considering I didn’t give him any ideas. Not that I have any.