There once was a hunter named Haques. He was the most powerful hunter in his village and killed more animals each day in the Spring than even the people could eat. It was well known in the village that Haques did not give thanks to the animals that he killed. He simply enjoyed the act of killing. People from the village would tell him to have respect for the animals he killed but he would just laugh and say, “This is no animal. This is food.” When he killed an animal and it was still alive and bleeding, he would always say, “You are only bleeding because you are weak. If you were strong, you would be watching the blood run from my body instead of yours.” After he said this, he would slit the animal’s throat and then hang it upside down. He would watch until all the blood was drained from its body and then he would carry the body home. Sometimes he would carry three or four carcasses of deer or boar from his body. The people would thank him for his contribution to the village, even if he showed no respect for the dead.
One day, Haques was stalking a wily fox. The fox hid in the shrubs and behind trees and it took Haques hours to finally catch with an arrow. As the fox lie there, he said, “You are only bleeding because you are weak. If you were strong, you would be watching the blood run from my body instead of yours.” When he pulled out his knife to slit the animal’s throat, the fox laughed at him.
“Fox!” he said, furious. “Why do you laugh at me?”
“Because you are a fool. All you do is kill but you cannot see that every time you kill a living creature without remorse, you are killing a bit of yourself as well. Your people know this but they ignore it, because you give them food. You and they are all fools.” The fox laughed again, even in its pain. “Here. I will show you.”
The hunter raised his knife again to end the fox’s life. “You will be dead soon and you will show me nothing.”
As the knife slid across the fox’s throat, Haques was surprised to find that what came out was not the animal’s blood but a nest of insects. The fox had tricked him, he thought, but what could a bug do to him? He continued hanging the body, but the bugs began to bite him. He swatted at them and was about to laugh at their weak deaths, but when he raised his hand again, he was disappointed to see only his own blood.
When he returned to the village with the fox carcass, there were swarms of insect biting the villagers. They saw the fox and realized what had happened. Of all the animals, the fox was the most sacred. And for Haques to show no reverence to the animal for giving its life was a terrible sin. They chased him out of the town with rocks.
Haques, bleeding from many wounds, escaped into the forest. He went to wash off the blood in a pond nearby but the insects had nested there and bit him. For every one he killed, there seemed to be three more and every time it was his own blood that came from the squished bodies. Wherever he ran, the insects were always there, bleeding him little by little until he died one day, a shriveled old man, covered in bites.