“When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires will come to you,” begins a song that probably resonates with you. These lyrics, used by Disney in the cartoons Cinderella and Pinocchio, are more than just words for a children’s song. The belief that a wish will come true when one sees a falling star is very old. Ptolemy wrote in the second century A.D. that gods would look through gaps in the heavens to view Earth. When stars would fall through these gaps, it was a great opportunity to ask the gods to fulfill a wish. There was a better chance your wish would come true, since their attention was already captivated by watching the falling star.
Some ancient Celtic tribal people believed shooting stars to be the breath of a dragon, and that was a very good thing. Some claim seeing a falling star is telling you that you will achieve your destiny. Others believe a falling star is a sign of positivity and good things will come your way. In Chile, the moment you see a falling star, you should pick up a stone and make a wish. In the Philippines, no stone is needed to make your wish come true, you just need to tie knots in a handkerchief. In other cultures, like our own, you just make a wish when you see the shooting meteor and you will be rewarded. If this belief is held in so many parts of the world, then we all can’t be wrong. What are your thoughts regarding this subject? Before you answer, let me tell you a little story about last week in Oklahoma.
Excitement rushed through my veins as I headed west for my annual trip to chase whitetails. There is not a day that goes by throughout the year that I don’t think about those serpentine river bottoms, choked with thick brush, that is home to bucks that are legendary. The day I leave that wonderful country, the process begins all over again and I drift to the Midwest every day at some point, consumed by the experiences both past and in the future. Is this a disease? You bet it is!
Anyway, after 12 hours of driving, with the help of a dropped pin, I pulled into the ranch that I would make my home for the next week. Words can’t describe how relaxed I was to be back “home” and in my element. You are probably thinking, I’m going to tell you the story of my hunt and all the details that went along with it. That’s for another day and another article. This one is for some of my new-found friends. Paul’s tag was filled with a beautiful buck and now it was Lisa’s and Bob’s turn. Let’s move forward.
I was up early drinking coffee with the guides each morning. I wasn’t going to just sit around and wonder what was going on in the bottoms and the sage flats, I was going to experience it with them. You may be wondering if I was also hunting? Remember, this is for a later story.
Matt, guide for Lisa, along with her husband Brandon, along for support, and I headed out in the pre-dawn darkness to drop them off at their stand. As we bounced down the winding road through the ranch, a brilliant falling star illuminated the heavens above. I immediately turned to Lisa, riding in the back seat, and said, “there’s your star, make your wish and keep it to yourself. Today’s your day.”
Though her morning was full of activity, the buck she was after didn’t offer an opportunity. Matt and I picked them up around noon and headed to the camp house to re-group. Barely had we sat down for lunch when Dane called and said he had a good buck spotted and for them to hurry up and get down there. Lisa was quick as a flash getting her gear and jumping back in the truck. Brandon was headed out the door with her when he turned around and came back for another huge bite or two of his sandwich. I remember asking him what he was doing, and he replied, “I’m starving.” Then leaving dust in his tracks, he piled in with them.
Four hours later, after setting up on the bedded buck with a doe, we received a text from Brandon….Got him! We made our way to them and were able to celebrate with Lisa with her beautiful buck. We re-lived the hunt that night over and over. Stories were told and re-told. It was her night. Eventually, the evening ended, and the lights were turned off, for the next day was Bob’s.
The alarm went off at 4 a.m. and the camp began to come to life. My truck was just about packed, and Matt and Mark and I were drinking coffee before I left. They were making a game plan and I made one last trip to the truck making sure I had everything. I paused for just a moment to take in the beautiful night before she gave way to dawn. I can’t describe how many stars lit the vast night above. As I stood in awe of what our Lord created, another magnificent falling star overtook the darkness for a brief second. I don’t know if you can transfer the opportunity for a wish to someone else, but I was surely going to try.
I walked back inside and as Bob was getting ready for his hunt, I told him I just saw another falling star and this one was his. This is where it gets eerie. No sooner than I had said this, a picture came through to Matt’s and Mark’s phone from a camera and the buck Bob had been hunting for weeks was in the area. They went into high gear. We said our goodbyes and good lucks and they headed to the brush and I headed home. I wouldn’t see my new friends again for quite some time.
Twenty miles down the road I was enjoying my cup of coffee and reflecting upon memories of the week. The air was crisp, and I felt good. It was a great trip. I thought to myself, my truck is driving good, and I’ll be home for Thanksgiving. Then it happened. Every bell, whistle, and light went off on my dashboard. My truck started knocking and shaking. I pulled over, checked under the hood to make sure it wasn’t on fire and said to myself, “now what.” I was in the middle of nowhere and with no other options, I headed to the closest town that may have a chevy dealership. I drove another 60 miles, slowly, and pulled into a dealership shop. Of course, they didn’t open until 8 A.M. so I just sat there mulling over whether I would make it home for Thanksgiving or even Christmas, for that matter.
The verdict was not what I was hoping for. The number 8 cylinder was shot, and a new engine was needed. I won’t go into the history of other issues I have had this summer, but the short of it is, I got the last rental the dealership had, and my truck was staying in Oklahoma for the Thanksgiving holidays. When it’s fixed, I will make the trek back to return my rental and pick up my truck with the new engine. Of course, with today’s supply issues, who knows when this will be. Trying to stay positive, I said it could always be worse. I transferred my belongings to the small SUV and headed east.
About an hour into my drive, I received a call from Dane and Bob. Bob had harvested the buck he was pursuing. The buck of a lifetime was in the truck and they shared the story of a phenomenal hunt, leaving out none of the details. I extended my congratulations, and almost hated to spoil the moment by sharing my dilemma. Dane was sympathetic and even offered to come get me. I thanked him but I was already on the road and doing fine. This is where it gets comical. He said to me, “maybe you should have kept one of those lucky stars for yourself and your truck. We both laughed and I just said, I’d do it all over again for Lisa and Bob to get those bucks. It’s just a minor inconvenience on my part.
Thank you, Dane, Matt, and Mark. It was a wonderful trip and I met new friends that I hope to share camp with again. It’ll be another year before the mesquite grilled fajitas, and the red beans and rice will be prepared. A long hot summer of chasing bugs must be endured to be able to do it all over again. At least I can think about it on my way back to get my truck. No worries, it’s all worth it. By the way, a 160 made the trip home with me, but like I said, that’s for another story. Congratulations, Lisa, and Bob, I hope to see everyone again next year. Until next time enjoy our woods and waters and remember, let’s leave it better than we found it.