"The Duck Story" by Mike & Audrey Brantley

One memorable hunting trip in 1969 into Tigre Provence comes to mind. SGM Yager had become friends with HRH Prince Rash Mengesia(sp), Governor General of Tigre. With His Highness' permission, a dozen or so of us were directed into a village not far from Me'kele where we made camp and employed a few local village men as "guides". The primary purpose was to shoot Hyennas and Wart Hogs, maybe an occassional baboon. One of the guides was quickly nicknamed "Abe" because he had the craggy features and beard not unlike Lincoln himself. He spoke not a word of English.

SFC Terry Hurst had "Abe" as his guide one afternoon when he came upon a group of Wart Hogs. The Hogs bolted and Terry, a crack shot, dropped two of them on the run. After he and Abe got back to camp, Terry seemed amused. At our urging he related something that Abe had shouted repeatedly after he killed the hogs. Terry assumed that it was some local Tigreian exhaltion for his marksmanship, but it sounded like something else.

According to Terry, "Abe" excitedly jumped up and down and repeatedly cried out "F--- A Duck!", "F--- A Duck!", "F--- A Duck!" We had with us the Prince's trusted bodyguard who served as a translator. Soon, we had the complete story.

It seems that some years prior to our visit another Kagnew group used to frequent the area on hunting trips. Among them was a Navy Corpsman who had a dentist's chair mounted in the back of an old 3/4 Ton tactical vehicle. This sailor didn't hunt, but often performed minor miracles by attending to the general health of the villages. He apparently was equipped to not only pull teeth, but did a reasonable job with fillings, etc. He would tend other problems too, such as festering sores, red-eye, and on one occassion, a gun shot. His services were much appreciated by the villagers.

G.I. humor being what it is, when the grateful villagers asked how they could show their appreciation, the were told by the other (probably Army) hunters that it would be a high honor if, when treatment was completed, they turned to "Doc", made a upward gesture with their right arm, smacking their elbow joint with their left hand and exclaimed "F--- YOU DOC!".

So ended the mystery of the "Duck".

Best wishes to my fellow hunters, Dave Potter, Orville Yager, Terry Hurst, John (Navy) Bush, Lutz, Chief Steve, Ross Arterburn, (Doctor) Follingstad, Andy Burnham, "Red" Allen, Joe DuJardin, and others who's names escape me at this moment.


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©Copyright Rick Fortney 1998 All Rights Reserved