September 27, 2022

Hunting With The Duke and Duchess

Hunting With The Duke and Duchess

Hunting With The Duke and Duchess
Don Quixote Novel

The Duke and Duchess take Don Quixote and Sancho Panza hunting with an array of beaters to scare boars out of the bushes so hunters with crossbows can shoot them. To prepare them for the hunt they give Don Quixote and Sancho Panza matching green hunting outfits of smoothly woven wool. After a hullabaloo is created by people shouting cardinal directions to one another, people spurring their hunting dogs with calls and cries, canines barking loudly in anticipation of the hunt, and horns blaring to egg the hunting party, on, eventually, the party reaches a wood between two great hills where huntsmen position themselves in hides, and ambushes, along the game trail, ready to strike out with their spears, swords, longbows, and slings, at a moment’s notice. When everyone is settled into position, the Duchess dismounts her palfrey with a sharp spear and stations herself where she knows wild boar often pass. Then the Duke and Don Quixote dismount from their royal steeds and stand to either side of the Duchess, while Sancho Panza does not dare get off his donkey for fear that it might come to some harm. Just moments after the foursome take-up their positions in a line of ambush, they see a vast boar rushing towards them, hard pressed by a pack of hounds, and chased by a group of huntsmen, gnashing its teeth and grating its tusks, and spraying foam from its mouth, in a desperate attempt to save its life. Watching this pursuit, Don Quixote takes up his shield, unsheathes his sword, and steps forward to impale the boar, as does the Duke. When Sancho Panza sees a foam spraying boar bearing down on him, he abandons his donkey and runs away as fast as he can, scrambling up the trunk of a tall evergreen oak, to reach a safe height. When Sancho Panza is halfway-up the tree, the branch to which he clings breaks, and he comes crashing down to the ground, hooking himself during his descent to a snag in the tree, so that he is left dangling near the ground in a very vulnerable position. Sancho Panza is so afraid of being gored by the boar’s tusks that he screams so loud, and shouts for help so insistently, that the rest of the hunting party thinks that he is in the jaws of some wild creature. After several moments, the long tusked boar is run through-and-through by the huntsmen’s spears, and Don Quixote hastens to unhook his squire from an evergreen oak. In turn, the boar carcass is slung across a mule, covered in rosemary plants and myrtle branches, to preserve and flavor it. With great ceremony the boar is born off to the hunter’s temporary encampment of grand marquees that had been erected in the middle of a clearing in the wood. After partaking in a sumptuous buffet populated by amusing conversation, the foursome leaves their bivouac to inspect the hides of the animals they killed that day.

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Originally posted 2020-01-09 06:05:10.