Each of us, whether we admit it or not, in our favorite activities or passions, certainly has an object, a phrase, a "good luck" ritual: the jolly garment of the university exams, the four-leaf clover in the book, the fang of that tal boar, the usual phrase before starting a business, going under that particular bridge before an event, etc. I knew a man who, if he heard "good hunting" as he started off with the rifle on his shoulder, immediately changed his mind and went home. The superstition is much more widespread than we think, even among the most rational people. He is probably ubiquitous among hunters, whether he confesses or not. There are some signals considered inauspicious, others propitious. For my natural predisposition I am not inclined to consider the former while I am more attentive to the signs of good luck. As often happens, my lucky star was lurking behind a constellation of events so to speak "unfortunate".
We are in late hunting season. In the last month, including the previous Saturday, fate had made fun of me by making sure that, once on my right, once on my left (sometimes even both!) The posts next to mine knocked down one or more wild boars without even being given the opportunity to glimpse a bristle. It looked like an evil spell!
When I get to my post I see the other friends walking past me heading into the ditch and I greet them with a sincere "Best of luck!". I begin to observe the trot I have to cover: it is beaten, but not that much. To improve the view, I cut some leafy twigs with pruning shears, a habit learned from the jokes in the harsh Maremma scrub and, always in honor of Maremma practices, I control the direction of the wind, supporting actor but decisive in the wild boar hunting. I'm in good wind, luckily! I remove the dry leaves from the ground that risk denouncing my every slightest movement of my feet. I place the rifle case on the branch of an holm oak and turn on my Aimpoint by adjusting the intensity of the red dot according to the light present.
When the dogs loose, the morning eats are immediately found by their truffles and after a quick approach, a thunderous bark at stop indicates the discovery of the animals. The first canizze head down, along the ditch, and it is there that the first wild boars are stopped. As I wriggle in these sterile thoughts, my attention is drawn to the black-dotted red of a vermillion-eyed ladybug, alongside the green cordura field of my rifle's scabbard. I gently lift her onto the index finger and, in a silent and funny face to face, I tell her in my thoughts "They say it brings good luck: then, come on! Today is your chance to prove it!”I place the ladybug on the leaf of an holm oak. A few quick minutes pass. "Crack!A suspicious noise catches my attention. I'm not sure what it is, it could be a boar, but I can't rule out that it's a dog, although all the dogs on the team wear bells around their necks. After a few moments another "crack!" and, immediately, in the thick of the scrub, a shadow. As soon as it enters the cone of visibility that I cut out of the branches, the wild boar is outlined. The 30.06 ball spat out by the Browning Bar Tracker Pro HC nail the animal in place. While on the radio the canai ask which dogs were on the trail of the stopped boar, I begin to hear the dogs and in no time at all three auxiliaries reach the animal to take their revenge. "Hallelujah! " I rejoice between me and me "The unfortunate carousel of absurd jokes in which good luck came to touch me without ever being grabbed has finally stopped!".
Taken as a childish instinct to go and thank the ladybug, I no longer find it on the leaf where I left it. Only after a while do I see her next to the cartridge case, as if to claim, small and stiff, her magical influence on the success of this hunting day.
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