The Prey
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The Spectator
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 by Frank Shortt
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A prey can be anything that you seek. Most of the time what we seek is the prey, but what if we become the prey?

Have you ever followed a beagle through the new fallen snow as he followed rabbit tracks? Did you wonder if the beagle followed the visible tracks or could he smell the rabbit scent even within the icy path the rabbit created? Eventually, the rabbit was overtaken, the prey that you sought, and you trusted the beagle’s senses to lead you to it.

The prey, hiding in a fence corner, sometimes under a low-hanging evergreen tree, or maybe a briar patch, sat shivering, hoping never to be seen by you, the hunter. As the beagle approaches his lair, he dashes for freedom, but he is not fast enough to avoid the roar of the firearm that ended his life and freedom to roam the forest. All it took was one little kick of the ever-ready weapon, then silence!

How we, like rabbits, the prey of all human hunters, hide under our loads of pretensions. Seeking freedom, we sometimes become entrapped by the very thing on which we rely. For some it is narcotics! For some it is alcohol! Thousands of down-and-out humankind have become prey to those who would supply them with just enough of a fix to overcome the present crisis.

One of the worst for seeking prey is the advertising moguls. They promise us the moon, but sometimes we find out that the moon is only made of cheese. They promise us that if we wear their brand of clothing, everyone will gravitate toward us, loving us immensely, and remain our friends until death do us part. The greatest prey of advertisers is our guileless youth. They promise them that by wearing their brand of perfume or cologne, they will never be without companionship. These poor youth end up at home sitting in the corner of their bedrooms, shivering, until they hear the next greatest promise.

Another seeker of prey is the ‘game of chance’ enthusiasts. They promise that if you will only put your quarters, or dollars in their slot machines, you will become rich beyond your wildest imagination. Johnny Cash once said, “I rode a forty thousand dollar Cadillac to Vegas one time, and on the way home I rode a hundred thousand dollar Greyhound bus!” These are the ones we see sitting on the street corners begging for their next meal, as well as, their place of sleep!

When are Americans ever going to wake up to the fact that they are someone’s prey? We are the prey of eateries, banks, billboards, television, the internet, and worst of all, our I-phones. We are only waiting, shivering, for the great boom that we are bound to hear if we take too seriously the very things that imprison us. And we wonder why humans have become neurotics, schizophrenics, mental patients, and dependent upon society! Look around, wake up, and you will no longer need to wonder! Whose prey are you?