The deer hunter | Sunday Observer

The deer hunter

12 June, 2022

The people who lived in a remote village in the Anuradhapura District knew little about Englishmen. Although Englishmen or white men were ruling the country, they had never seen anyone of them.

One day an elderly villager spotted an Englishman driving his jeep through the village. He looked like a planter. The vehicle stopped by a stream and the stranger started surveying the landscape using a pair of binoculars. The villager cautiously approached the man.

‘Sir, are you looking for somebody?”

“Oh, yes. I’m looking for a deer.”

A hunter

The villager at once realised that the stranger was a hunter or a sportsman who usually came on raids, killed, wounded or missed innocent wild beasts. Sometimes, such people used to shoot at dazzled animals from their moving vehicles. And they called it sport.

The white man at once spotted a deer drinking water at a distance. When he tried to get close to the deer, it started running away. The hunter could not keep pace with the deer. At a certain spot the deer stopped and looked back. Then it saw the hunter aiming his gun at it.

The white man shot at the deer several times but missed his target. Then he stopped running after the deer and decided to take a rest under the shade of a tree. After sometime, he got up and looked for the deer. Instead of a deer he found a bhikkhu standing at a distance. He wondered whether it was an illusion.

Sacred city

The white man knew that Anuradhapura was a sacred city visited by Arahath Mahinda who brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka. At once he realised that Buddhism did not condone cruelty to animals.

The white man threw his gun away and returned to his tea estate.