"There are a few reindeer. Can we shoot them now?" asked one of the little ones while he stood by the car on the road.
"No. We must go much further, so we are certain of hitting them correctly," explained John-Erik Leithe, who was responsible for shooting this year's kindergarten quota.
The annual reindeer hunt for Polarflokken kindergarten was also a big highlight for the oldest children this year. Seven adults and ten children set out eagerly on the hunt in Adventdalen last Friday. Some fine bucks were observed beforehand near Mine 6.
Some went with their hearing protection on all the way, while others hollered away and sang as the group approached the unsuspecting animals.
"Shhhh. When we are hunting, it is important to be quiet so we do not scare the animals," commanded kindergarten leader Trine Berntsen, without the tense five-year-olds taking significant notice of it.
It didn't, on the other hand, matter so much. The two selected bucks below Mine 6 scarcely paid any attention to the noisy hunting party.
Two shots, two reindeer
As Leithe lay down to shoot the animals, however, it was much quieter. Then came two well-aimed shots and two reindeer dropped 150 meters beyond the hunting party.
"As we go across to the animals, it may be that I have to shoot them again to be sure that they do not suffer," said Leithe, continuing to educate his hunting friends.
But it was not necessary. The shots had hit exactly where they should. Many were in the meantime not so concerned about the animals' suffering.
"Where's the penis?" came from several quarters as the kids ran up to the prey.
Polarflokken generates revenue for the fall's TV charity auction through the sale of stew, ribs and other creations by the kindergarten. But first, the animals must be butchered.
The stomach and organs such as the heart were displayed for the little ones.
"All the children must taste a little blood," Leithe said, grinning playfully as he held up the heart of one buck.
"Bleeeech. No, yuck," replied Natcha Yakaeo, one of those who definitely did not like that idea.
"It was pretty fun to be on the hunt. But now I think it's pretty disgusting," she said as she wrinkled her nose.
Eivind Oldernes Hoem was not as deterred by the experience.
Was there anything that surprised him during the day's hunt?
"Yes," he said. "I was surprised about John-Erik's hit. They were the pretty far away."
"And I was surprised about the poop," Wilhelm Ianssen chimed in. "It was so