Mistakes. Everybody makes them. I do. You do. We all do. Some say even God does. Whites. Blacks. Reds. Yellow. Some think killing is right; others wrong. I don’t know if its right or not right. I’ve never been religious enough to know the mind of God. Didn’t need no god to fill my blood with pain and sorrow. The Devil’s done enough of that already.
Interviewer: Did you feel you had a right to kill that man?
Right? I can kill a deer, can’t I?
Interviewer: In season, sure. But a man isn’t a deer.
Same as a deer ain’t a man. You think men got the right to kill that deer, but that deer don’t have no right to kill the man trying to kill him?
Interviewer: Well, I don’t know that. It seems like that would be another issue altogether.
Then you’re wrong.
Interviewer: All right, so tell me why I am wrong?
You don’t know, mister, I can’t tell you.
Interviewer: Why can’t you tell me?
If I killed a man because he broke into my house, you’d say I acted in self-defense. I wouldn’t be found guilty. I wouldn’t go to jail.
Interviewer: That’s true.
Then how come I can’t kill a man who comes on my property and kills my deer? Seems to be this worlds got right and wrong mixed.
Interviewer: But you weren’t defending yourself, but rather a deer.
Deer got just as much right to live as me. You. Anybody at all.
Interviewer: Maybe so, okay I’ll grant you that. But you let the deer attack that hunter. Then you shot him, the hunter, I mean, in the head.
Gotta put him down. Wouldn’t the hunter have done the same to the deer?
Interviewer: I have to say you have a unique view of the world, Mr Ringer, but I dare say it doesn’t fit in with the current laws of the world. A man is more important than a deer. A deer is just a creature. Men are meant to have domination over the animals of the land.
Gods supposed to have domination over the earth, yet men die all the time. That’s where the mistakes started.
Interviewer: So you are saying God makes mistakes? What about free will?
Don’t know. Don’t know God. Yet. But seems to me whats right for one is right for another. Deers got free will, too. Right to protect himself in his own home.
Interviewer: But instead of calling an ambulance, instead of helping the man, you killed him. He was still alive. He could have been saved.
Man puts down a horse with a broken leg. Seems the broken leg probably came from some fool thing man asked the horse to do.
No buts. Gotta be one way or the other. Not right to keep making the same mistakes.
I ain’t afraid. Mayhaps, I’ll meet God. Ask him some questions. Understand why he let the first mistake stand.
The prisoner stood, shackles around his wrists, tethered to the chain about his waist.
“Thank you,” the Interviewer said, standing also..
The prisoner looked at him. Gave a small smile. “I’m passing the torch to you. Keep fighting the mistakes. Not just deer and men, but all of them. Somebodys got to, and that must be you, you came to talk to me.”
Then he was gone.
The reporter stood motionless, staring into the distance, following the execution in his mind. The table. The straps. Drugs and going the sleep. Funny, how sleep and death were sometimes the same. Like deer and men? Maybe?
The prisoner had looked at his notebook when he’d said he was passing the torch and now the Interviewer looked at that notebook. Inside were only words, but words which could make or break a man? Maybe a world.
Once he heard the prisoner pronounced dead, he packed up his notebook and went home.