Walter Palmer said he wouldn’t have “taken” Cecil the lion if he had known of Cecil’s special status. Even the first time I read this statement, I found it somehow inappropriate–strange, at least. Maybe it’s part of the big hunter jargon. I know many common meanings of “take,” but “kill” isn’t one. Some come close, such as “subtract” and “remove.” Each time I read or hear Palmer’s statement I wonder what it means in the instance he’s referencing. My own limited take on the word in that context is that it means to take from that environment to another. The taken still exists but in the possession of the taker. Nothing has died but has only been carried somewhere and kept. Mounted? I’m not attacking Palmer. I’m just interested in the subtleties of language.
NewsThe Universe Playing Strings, a novel, recently released by the University of New Mexico Press. For details visit R. M. Kinder.