Letter: Hallmark memory

I had to laugh when I read Paul Seaman’s seemingly farcical “A Christmas story boxed in truth” (Jan 2). His intention clearly is to illustrate an example of Christmas charity, but his writing comes off as an unrealistic ... and improbable ... portrayal of real life in rural New England. For example, most hunters, no matter how downtrodden, would not hunt on Christmas Day; and certainly the boys of God-fearing, church-going Christian parents wouldn’t allow them to partake of killing on this most sacred day.

Furthermore, one doesn’t simply set a day aside to hunt jackrabbits: conditions have to be right (usually after a fresh snowfall) and in forest cover of a certain makeup (thickets and low cover in pine, spruce and hemlock outcropping). And in rural New England, rabbit hunting wasn’t a one-time annual phenomenon undertaken by poor hermits or old loggers: many farmers and sportsman hunted rabbits from October through mid-winter. After all, rabbit makes a wonderful stew and pie.

Mr. Seamans’ recollection comes across more like a prepackaged Hallmark made for television story than as a realistic portrayal of a seasonal ritual that was acted out all over New England by rich and poor alike.



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