December 18, 2006
The following story was written by Michael Shaughnessy, from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Michael is running for the OLC Board this year. In 1989, he enrolled in the Program Read literacy program in Sault Ste. Marie. At that point, he was unable to read a single word. Michael had a lot of bumps along the way, but now, he can basically read anything that is given to him. His self-confidence has increased tenfold. In terms of his interest, he would like to see the day when we read about literacy problems only in history books.
The sun had begun to awaken in the morning sky. It was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen - a sea of red, orange, and yellow against the blue sky. The breeze was just strong enough for me to know it was there.
Then I heard it coming from the bushes. I turned quickly around and then I saw it. It was the biggest moose I have ever seen in my life. The muscles seemed to glisten with the sun's rays hitting them. As the moose stepped softly through the woods, its muscles rippled like water flowing over the rocks in the stream.
My eyes began to widen with excitement at meeting up with an amazing animal like that. My dog crouched at my feet in the ready position, quivering in anticipation of what was to come. I brought my sight slowly up to meet my eye. My finger began to cramp as I got ready to shoot. I began to have a flashback to when I was a wee boy of seven.
My dad was a small man who looked to me like an old man though he was only 25. Every year he counted down to hunting season. He seemed to know how much hunting disgusted me. Despite that knowledge, he always brought me out for the hunt. He believed it was a rite of passage to manhood. We always went on the same winding trail, which appeared to go on and on to nothingness. The rifle seemed to be bigger than my dad. I wondered how he remained standing after firing it.
Here I was on the same path, about to shoot my first moose, with my dog, Big Ben, curled up against my leg. It finally came right into my sight. Then I snapped the picture. It was the nicest picture I have ever taken of an animal. I could not help thinking now I was 25, I had found my own path to manhood.