LIFE BY LOUIS: The thrill of the hunt - Daily Nation

LIFE BY LOUIS: The thrill of the hunt and my quest for crow meat

Tuesday July 24 2018

We got a few bones from the dustbin of a local eatery and used it as bait in our crow trap.

We got a few bones from the dustbin of a local eatery and used it as bait in our crow trap. ILLUSTRATION | IGAH 

By LOUIS MUIRURI
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When we were small boys and we did not have the benefit of toys and Cartoon Network, we caught a crow with the sole intention of turning it into a meal.

There are high chances that the fine men and women who look after our wildlife will summon me to their offices to record statements and aid them in their investigations.

But I consider this as a voluntary confession of a former 'poacher' and they will set me free, but with a stern warning to mend my former ways.

Catching a crow was not an easy exercise. It involved setting up a clever trap that would be the envy of seasoned hunters and gatherers.

We had noticed that crows loved meat, and a particular fetish for bones.

Armed with these material facts, we went ahead to set our trap.

We got a few bones from the dustbins of a local eatery that would be used to bait the crows.

The bones were placed in an open ground where the crows could see them from their observation centres. They have the most intelligent observation centres.

A crow in Nairobi can scout a wedding party setup in North Rift and arrive there in time for lunch.

NO LUCK

We then set up an inverted washing basin on top of the bones but left a small opening propped up with a piece of stick. That way the crows could still see the bones, but the minute they entered into the confined space formed by the wash basin, the stick would trip and the crow would be trapped inside.

It was not going to be that straightforward in practice.

After waiting a whole day for the unlucky crow, none showed up. We assumed they were attending a more lucrative garden wedding in Karen where people eat bone meat with forks and knives and end up leaving half the meat content on the bone.

In my village, you are not through with a bone until it is wiped clean and you have broken it into two to access the highly nutritious bone marrow.

It was a miss on day one. Day two was a Sunday and the wash basin was occupied the whole day since that was the day everyone took a bath as a bare minimum.

On day three, the neighbour's dog showed up while we were not watching and feasted on the bones.

A CATCH

Day four was our lucky day, and a noisy commotion around the trap signified a catch. The crow was not willing to be converted into a meal without a fight.

We were aware that the crow's sharp talons were capable of inflicting serious injuries, and getting injured those days was illegal far as our parents were concerned.

We boiled the meat in a tin can for about four hours. The meat was still as hard as the standard gauge rail tracks, and the water that we expected to become thick soup was still as clean as mineral water.

We boiled it for another four hours. The meat actually became harder; it was like refining iron ore with furnace fire.

As we waited for the meat to cook and to prevent ourselves from starving, we illegally acquired maize and potatoes from nearby farms and roasted them.

Short of the story is that the meat remained as hard as refined steel. We ate the other accompaniments without meat stew and lived to hunt another day.

I still harbour feelings of unfinished business, and crow meat is something I still intend to eat once I acquire a powerful pressure cooker that will convert the stubborn meat into soft pulp.

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