In tribute to Cecil The Lion, I’m posting my favorite Hemingway short story: ‘The Short Happy Life Of Francis Macomber’

“You know, I’d like to try another lion,” Macomber said. “I’m not really afraid of them now. After all, what can they do to you?”cecil29n-8-web[1]

“That’s it,” said Wilson. “Worst one can do is kill you. How does it go? Shakespeare. Damned good. See if I can remember. Oh, damned good. Used to quote it myself at one time. Let’s see. ‘By my troth, I care not; a man can die but once; we owe God a death and let it go which way it will, he that dies this year is quit for the next.’ Damned fine, eh?”

“That was the story of the lion. Macomber did not know how the lion had felt before he started his rush, nor during it when the unbelievable smash of the .505 with a muzzel velocity of two tons had hit him in the mouth, nor what kept him coming after that, when the second ripping crash had smashed his hind quarters and he had come crawling towards the crashing, blasting thing that had destroyed him. Wilson knew something about it and only expressed it by saying, “Damned fine lion,” but Macomber did not know how Wilson felt about things either. He did not know how his wife felt except that she was through with him.”

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    I think this lion thing has been built up all out of proportion.
    Reading the story, though, it occurred to me from experience that a dentist is in far more danger from his female dental assistants than from the folly of any hunting trip.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    I should read the titles closer.
    I got all the way to the end of the second part before my brain stopped and said: that’s Hemingway!

    • dance…dancetotheradio

      I’d never read Hemingway before today.
      He’s got a different way of writing.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        When he’s good, he’s great.
        Good economy of words and you always feel as if he’s grabbed you by the scruff of the neck and he’s dragging you through the story showing you what he wants you to see.

        • dance…dancetotheradio

          When I was a kid, Anthony Burgess, William S. Burroughs and Isaac Aasimov seemed more interesting than African safaris.
          I had to quit reading novels.
          Too addictive.
          Used to read all night and go to work on no sleep.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Good novels are a vice of mine as well and I stopped reading them mostly for the same reason. The same reason I don’t play video games too.
            However, that hasn’t stopped me from acquiring a mountain of literature on my Kindle, that I’ll likely never get around to reading. I allow myself short stories as I can blaze through them at a pretty good clip.
            Russian lit seems to be the thing I have gravitated (back) to over the last year or so.
            Nikolai Gogol’s “The Overcoat” is a quick fun read (also a short story) and had a huge impact on a lot of later Russian writers.
            If you liked that, then his book “Dead Souls” is a pretty good read too.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            I can’t remember the author’s name.
            Anna Karenina and the Brothers Kharamazov.

          • Tolstoievski?

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Yes, them! 🙂

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Gogol was a huge influence on Dostoevsky.
            An ex GF of mine thought that Dostoevsky and Google were degenerates, and that I might be one too, since I said I was bored by Pushkin and Tolstoy.
            She was likely right, but then again she was a old school Soviet Komsomol type, so her perceptions of the world were somewhat different than ours.

          • Stupid degenerate Google.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            That’s the great thing about ex-girlfriends.
            They are ex-girlfriends.

          • El Martyachi
          • I love Norm Macdonald. (He’s a really good twitter follow BTW.)

            I’m almost a week late to this, but:

      • canminuteman

        They made me read Hemingway in high school and I couldn’t stand him. A few years ago, in an attempt to broaden my education I revisited him, and really like him. For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, Old Man and the Sea, A Farewell to Arms. All well worth a visit.

  • Waffle

    Why has this terrible story gone viral? Why is its importance being conflated with the selling of fetal baby parts? I think it is because the murder — yes murder — of Cecil represents a tangible focus — a proxy –for the anger and helplessness we all feel about the state of things. A few things come immediately to mind (and I apologize in advance if I have failed to provide a more comprehensive list). So here goes:

    *The insanity of the US/Iran nuclear deal,
    *The lies and grubby profit motive of Planned Parenthood,
    *The despicable behaviour of a few crazy Jews whose deplorable actions are putting all of us in danger,
    *The criminality of our provinically-elected politicians — yes, Kathleen Wynne, I’m looking at you. Bitch!
    *The musings of some of my fellow citizens to even think that Tommy the Commie is going to lead them to the Promised Land. Thank you MSM for having such a powerful effect on my fellow citizens who have neither the time nor the interest in thinking for themselves. Your incessant attacks, lies and distortions over the past decade have helped to create a climate of hate and polarization. When the dust clears (it won’t be long now), consider yourselves lucky if you still have your privileged platforms.

    Just a few of the things I can do very little about, but wanted to get off my chest.

    I will now go and comfort myself with giving Farfel a tummy rub and letting him know what a hell of a lucky puss he is.

    • I think that killing this lion was a despicable thing. It doesn’t mean that the dentist should be murdered or even that he’s a criminal, but certainly I personally find it grotesque.

  • FactsWillOut

    It’s just a lion. The threats to the lion population do not include westerners hunting them

  • G

    Why didn’t he go on an armored yacht & hunt Somali pirates? They run wild. They’re not endangered. It’s more sporting, more challenging and serves a socially redeeming purpose too.

    Think of the hunting stories you could tell. “I bagged two of the bastards when they charged me in a rigid inflatable.”

    Mounting the heads on your living room wall would be in poor taste though.

  • mauser 98

    Hemingway? … the Nuge says… ‘the whole story is a lie, God are people stupid.’

  • mauser 98

    Fukushima killing the Pacific ocean

  • simus1

    Poor Cecil, butchered by a serial sadistic POS “trophy hunter” spreading around the big bucks in Mugabe’s Starvationland amusement park.
    Never could see any real point in hunting top of the food chain predators for “sport”. If a sick or wounded one decided to start chowing down on the local populace, that is a different deal. Same with healthy bears that present a danger after they figure out how idiotic some humans can be.

  • ntt1

    This episode just underlines how immoral trophy hunting is, it targets the biggest and best and removes them from the breeding stock, there is little sport in baiting enticing then slaughtering an animal. The dentist will pay the price and help build hope for an end to this barbarity.

  • Gary

    ISIS will be in real trouble with massive protests in the USA and canada if they start throwing Lions from roof tops instead of the current quarry of queers that GLAAD has been silent on along with Hillary and Obama.
    Or maybe ISIS might slip-up and deny gays Pizza after their wedding, hell….. Rosie and Susan G Cole might finally get upset at the quranic sanctioning to murder gays.

  • bob e

    pretty classy b m

  • Ryan Heinrich

    This is disgusting how this could have happened! I hope the full extent of the law gets used on the people that did this. The Dentist should have know better and so should the person who allowed this.