But the attempt to recapture the past is more than just an attempt to capture or subjugate the wild creature and fix its wildness in civilized frozen form. In equal measure, the taxidermist yearns to free that creature from the earthly skin of particularity which once bound it. Through the tedious steps of the preservation the taxidermist coaxes the tired, reluctant skin to relax, to move, to rekindle the energy inside, and finally to stand again as it once did. This is the goal of taxidermy, to recreate another form of life and liveliness.

The creature pauses, the hunter prepares his weapon. Let us pause in this moment just before the fatal encounter. Everything the creature has strived for, its will to live, has lead to this. That unconscious awareness of animals, Being in the present, the spark of Life passed on from generation to generation unknown. Its is itself, full of itself, through and through. It is pure animal and alive.

In a moment the creature's eyes will be opened and it will no longer live in innocence, but for now it is without knowledge of itself. The animal in the hunter's sights is entirely unaware of its impending collision with the larger world.

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Copyright 2015 Matt Bergstrom