Recordings later, showed Tom was one of the passengers who stormed the cockpit and said “lets roll”. During the days that followed, the Princeton Post Office was in lock down as various letters had been found to contain a mysterious white powder, and the suggestion was Anthrax. So it was some weeks later I received a letter in a plastic bag from the Post Office to my work. I opened it gingerly to find a Thank You card from Tom, posted from his hotel the morning he caught that doomed flight.
Why am I sharing this with you, you may ask, but Tom liked to be a bit daring in his life and in some ways Fox Hunting can be just that. Today, one of our Supporters Angie came out Hunting for the first time. She had watched us leave several times and decided it looked wonderful. So she leased an old horse, took English Riding Lessons, bought some basic clothes, borrowed tack and here she was. Admittedly looking somewhat green around the gills!
The morning started out with high humidity and I’m sure that led to a small field of five in First Flight, and six in Second and Mr Farrin brought out 16 ½ couple of hounds. As we left the meet, Master Cindy trotted off to lead the field around the far side of a stand of corn at Mr. Jack Kanack’s farm, when a huge buck jumped out and bounced off the fence. Ponder (Cindy’s Horse) and Mowgli (mine) both spun round in alarm, but somehow we both stayed on, nervously giggled and off we went. Well that got my heart racing!
The hounds worked three stands of corn and clearly there were foxes in abundance, hounds split several times leaving our Whips to race around a bit. Richard who was whipping on Manners Road radioed that a fox had crossed the road in front of him. Off we went at a clip and hounds worked the corn on the opposite side of the road, clearly catching the scent. While we galloped off alongside the field of sunflowers, now left to seed, the Second Flight led by Master Stephen elected to stay exactly where they were and watch events unfolding below them.
We then headed along the road and entered Mr. Ribbon’s land where the hounds paddled in the small pond and cooled off. We moved off and Mr. Farrin collected hounds and worked more corn stands. By this time we had been out 90 mins, hounds had worked hard running through the corn. We returned to Mr. Kanack’s land, allowing hounds to drink and cool off in the stream before we headed back for a Pot Luck breakfast. The humidity had been replaced by a slight and welcomed breeze and the view from the hillside was stunning, a few herons and an egret flying overhead and the corn having turned yellow as the leaves started to die off. It was time to head home.
I asked Angie her thoughts about her first hunt. She went silent for a bit thinking and then said she loved the fact that everyone in Second Flight had been so wonderfully welcoming and were keen to share advice and a few horror stories of things that have happened to them over the years. Then broke into a huge grin and said, “well it seems hunting makes me feel alive!” Aren’t we all glad we feel this way on this particular anniversary.