From Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend, by John George Hoffman, , we have this small anecdote along with a charm or talisman for success in hunting: It is said that anyone going out hunting and carrying it in his game-bag, cannot but shoot something worth while and bring it home.
The story is as follows:
An old hermit once found an old, lame huntsman in a forest, lying beside the road and weeping. The hermit asked him the cause of his dejection.
“Ah me, thou man of God, I am a poor, unfortunate being; I must annually furnish my lord with as many deer, and hares, and partridges, as a young and healthy huntsman could hunt up, or else I will be discharged from my office; now I am old and lame; besides game is getting scarce, and I cannot follow it up as I ought to; and I know not whit will become of me.”
Here the old man’s feelings overcame him, and he could not utter another word. The hermit, upon this, took out a small piece of paper, upon which he wrote some words with a pencil, and handing it to the huntsman, he said:
“There, old friend, put this in your game-bag whenever you go out hunting, and you shall certainly shoot something worth while, and bring it home, too; yet be careful to shoot no more than you necessarily need, nor to communicate it to anyone that might misuse it, on account of the high meaning contained in these words.”
The hermit then went on his journey, and after a little the huntsman also arose, and without thinking of anything in particular he went into the woods, and had scarcely advanced a hundred yards when he shot as fine a roebuck as he ever saw in his life.
This huntsman was afterward and during his whole lifetime lucky in his hunting, so much so that he was considered one of the best hunters in that whole country. The following is what the hermit wrote on the paper:
Ut nemo in sense tentat, descendre nemo.
At precedenti spectatur mantica tergo.
The best argument is to try it.