by Keef Rutledge on April 18, 2012

When I was a boy, I would often take long walks across the University
campus with my father, stopping at various places. One of my favorite
places was The Duck Pond, a small-ish pond where there were, not
surprisingly, a lot of ducks. As a sweet young lad, I remember once
trying to pet a goose; with lightning-speed, it leaped forward and bit
my finger, actually drawing blood. I didn’t immediately start to
scream or cry; my years as a soldier in Sierra Leone had taught me
better than that. I sat down and waited, and when the goose came
close, I punched it in the beak and quickly gutted it with my
freakishly long fingernails, spreading its entrails in the grass. I
drove my fist into its entrails as the goose still helplessly,
broken-beakedly honked; I punched and punched until my rage was sated
and all that remained was a fine pulp of blood and bonemeal ground
into the soil. My father was horrified. He hadn’t known about my years
as a hired killer. It took the better part of a week to calm him down.

(Keef Rutledge lives in Austin and can be seen at

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