A hunter shot at a flock of geese that flew within his reach.
Two were stopped in their rapid flight and fell on the sandy beach.
The male bird lay at the water's edge and just before he died,
He faintly called to his wounded mate and she draggerd herself to his side.
She bent her head and crooned to him in a way distressed and wild.
Carrying her one and only mate as a mother would a child.
Then covering him with her broken wing and gasping with failing breath,
She laid her head against his breast, a feeble honk... then death.
This story is true, though crudely told. I was the man in this case.
I stood knee-deep in snow and cold, and the hot tears burned my face.
I buried the birds in the sand where they lay, wrapped in my hunting coat.
And I threw my gun and belt in the bay, when I crossed in the open boat.
Hunters will call me a right poor sport and scoff at the thing I did.
But that day somthing broke in my heart, and shoot again?
Poem by B Lemuel T. Ward