Teachable Moments: Big Buck Hunter Meets a Six Year Old Animal Lover

Life has a way of giving you what you need when you need it.

This story begins with a family outing to see the latest animated Disney film, Frozen and has a surprise ending.

I love the cinema. I always have. It is a magical place where I can see anything, feel anything and go anywhere in the universe. Now that my kids are old enough, I LOVE taking them to the movies.

This past weekend as my husband was buying our tickets I followed the girls around as they flitted from one swirling & flashing utopian experience to the next; much like moths to a flame. Our local mega plex is not only home to 20+ theatres, but also houses a mesmerizing arcade. It was one innocuous game after another with car racing, basketball, dance party, air hockey….you get the idea. My girls spot a sweet two seater car racing game and they climb right in taking corners like a pro. As they cross the imaginary finish line my six year old notices the game to our right, Big Buck Hunter. bigbuckhunter

Sofia is immediately intrigued. The game is equipped with two large hunting rifles and the screen flashes between different large game, from the obvious buck to African savannah animals like cheetahs & crocs. And how could I forget the half naked 18 year old-ish girl on the screen cheering you on after you make your kill. gorilla

I watched as she picked up the rifle and looked quizzically at the gun. She put it down as her focus shifted to the screen. I could tell she was interested in the animals and had no clue what she had stumbled upon. Right then my husband approached with the tickets and off we headed to enjoy a sweet movie essentially about the power of love to heal all wounds and the importance of connection. I was amazed that Sofia didn’t ask any questions & I felt grateful to avoid a conversation about killing for sport with my animal loving daughter.

Life however, had other plans.

After the movie we had to walk through the arcade to exit the building and we found ourselves back at Big Buck Hunter and this time the questions come fast and furious. “What is a rifle?”, “Do people really shoot animals with these?”, “What happens when you shoot an animal?”, “Why would anyone want to kill an animal?”

I said little and stayed on point but she really blew me away when she asked, “Why would anyone think killing an animal is fun?”

I took this moment to sway her over to her little sister at the two seater car game. I quickly noticed that Sofia was gazing over at Big Buck Hunter and that a young family had put money into the machine; a Dad & his 4-ish year old daughter each had a rifle in hand while her mom watched on. Sofia was a blank slate, taking it all in.

The dad was delighted as he continuously shot his gun at the screen, jumping and yelling loudly. A big buck darted across the forested landscape, back & forth, back & forth, finally collapsing & bleeding out into the creek. The dad motioned to his daughter in excitement, “Did you see that, YEAH!”. Now it was her turn and man alive, was he excited to teach her how to shoot. As the tiny little girl aimed the giant rifle at the screen and started shooting, I gently took Sofia’s hand in mine and led her out of the building.

white_tail_deer

The girls feeding some white tailed deer leaves from surrounding flora this spring at a wild animal rescue centre.

We still haven’t spoken about it. We don’t need to. She saw it all, she took it all in and she got it. Loud & clear.

What we have spoken about is her “Share” chamber in her piggie bank. We took the money out of it and she gave it to me for the World Wildlife Fund. We went online several times where she spent hours combing over animals in danger, deciding on which one she was going to “adopt”. There is a great page where you can unofficially adopt a species and in return you receive a small stuffed animal, an adoption certificate, a photo and a species card. She loves big cats and decided on the Trio of Cubs for $75 where she has “adopted” a Tiger, Cheetah and a Snow Leopard cub.1001265_238241166323911_468367632_n

Forget Santa, she can’t wait for it to come in the mail.

Sofia loves animals. Every Saturday we go to the library and she heads straight for the nature section. Come time to go I have to do something against my nature and talk her out of a bunch of books as we cannot read so many in one week. 

Sometimes as a parent the best thing you can do is keep your mouth shut. Man I love that girl. I don’t know what the master plan is, but I am so grateful that she chose me as her mother.

I hope you enjoyed my story. I enjoyed sharing it.

Light & love, Lisa

8 thoughts on “Teachable Moments: Big Buck Hunter Meets a Six Year Old Animal Lover

  1. Reblogged this on bloomlisa and commented:

    This is my favourite post and it just so happens to be the only personal story I have shared about my oldest daughter, Sofia. That said, I suppose it is no coincidence that it is near and dear to my heart. I decided to re-blog it as I wrote it before many of you followed me and it is a nice add-on to my Spirit Animal Guide post on the deer. Light & love – Lisa

  2. Hunting is major where I live. I recently subscribed to a local parks & recreation magazine for the wildlife photos, and was dismayed when the first issue arrived to see that the theme was … hunting, with a major article about teaching children to hunt. Yikes.

    Reading a dog book a few years ago, I came across a hunter I can respect. The only meat he eats is elk he has personally hunted–and thanked, as he says native people used to do.

    When I talk to the people I work with who hunt, their methods sound not very sportsmanlike, and more like a canned hunt–and I said so 🙂

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