It's spooky, but lately whenever I raise my camera somebody notices. Even when they're out there on the quay fishing, with their backs turned to me. Somehow they feel it. Which reminds me of many years ago, when a former service buddy of mine named Ben Hartman took me on a three-day canoe expedition down the Stillwater River in southwestern Ohio.
We were moving along nicely when Ben stopped, slowly raised his paddle and then brought its blade swiftly down into the water. A second later a big dead trout appeared on the surface, a neat red gash across its forehead, right between its eyes. He pulled the fish out of the river, and later that evening we grilled it on a fire and ate it, washed down with half a case of beer each.
As we ate and drank he told me about his habit of shooting any stray or feral cat that happened to cross his path in the woods. These animals were vermin, a nuisance. "One time I spotted a big black one a long way off, maybe 75 yards," Ben said, "and I got it in the telescopic sight of my thirty-ought-six Springfield. I put the crosshairs right between that fucker's eyes. He was staring right at me. Even from that distance that cat knew exactly what I was doing. Honest to God, he KNEW."
"Well, what happend?"
"I nailed him with one round. Blew his head off. And he knew it was coming."