The search goes on

Editor’s note: This is a reprint of a Bill Shepard column that ran a year ago.

By Bill Shepard

Bill Shepard

The search for truth goes on! The hounds of Washington are hot on the trail! Some of us are beginning to ask, how long, how long, how long?
Just about the time I get the feeling that the hunt is winding down, the hounds strike another trail and the hunt goes on. Just like my brother always said, once a good hound strikes a trail, it is hard to call him off until he has the victim up a tree!
My brother knew what he was talking about. I doubt there’s another person alive that hunted raccoons and opossums along the swamplands of Swift Creek more than my brother.
I can recall a lot of stories my brother would tell me about the search for an old raccoon. He said an old ’coon knew a lot of tricks.
The way my brother would tell it, he made it sound like a lot of fun to hunt for the wild creatures that were plentiful in the swamp, but I would rather just listen to his stories, and he never ran out of them.
He would tell how an old ’coon, one that had survived a lot of hunts, would lead the hounds to the edge of the creek. There the trail would end because the old ’coon would leap into the water and swim up or down the stream a ways before coming to land again. That was when you needed a wise and well-trained hound to continue the search. My brother often said that a fellow could learn a lot from watching a good hound dog in search of an old ’coon!
I don’t know if the hounds of Washington ever chased after raccoons, but I find some resemblances when I try to follow the search that is going on for the truth! When it seems the hunt is about to be called off, another trail is discovered and the hunt continues!
I’m beginning to think it will be a long time before the real truth is ever known! Maybe when the historians write the history books, the little children in years ahead will read about it and wonder.
The ending might not be all what one might think!
I can recall listening to my brother tell how some of his hunts would end, and he would have tears in his eyes.
As a last resort, the old ’coon would lead the chase to the tallest tree and climb to the top and wait.
The bloodthirsty hounds would take their position at the foot of the tree and begin to bark.
My brother said the sound of that bark was different from those heard while on the trail. He said that bark sent their masters a message that the raccoon was treed! That word “treed” is hunters’ jargon. The dogs, I meant to say hounds, would not leave the tree until their victim came down for a fight to the finish!
My brother would say that an old raccoon could put up a nasty fight and his hounds had the scars to prove it!
I could sense as I would listen to the endings that my brother would feel sorry for the loser.
Of course, there were others in the swamp, and the hunts would continue.
The hide from the old raccoon, if it wasn’t torn up too badly from the fight, would be nailed to the side of Dad’s old car shed alongside others that had lost their last fight.
I don’t suppose the search will ever reveal the truth about the part the Russians played in America’s last presidential election, and if it does, who will believe it?
“I don’t know what the truth might be, I only know what I hear on my TV!”

Author: Stephan Drew

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