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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I have the prettiest girlfriend in the world -- and the nicest, I thought, until I realized that "Gwen" does not understand or respect my favorite sport: hunting.

Yesterday, my hunting partner and I took Gwen with us hunting for wild turkeys, so she could understand the appeal. I explained everything to her the night before, but hunting day was a disaster. She wasn't up at 4:30 a.m. like I told her to be. Then she dressed and fixed her hair and did makeup the way she usually does. She absolutely refused to wear the face paint and camouflage I'd given her.

In the woods, she refused to whisper or walk quietly. Her hairspray attracted mosquitoes and bees, and she wouldn't stay where we told her to. To top it off, when we finally spotted a turkey and got close, Gwen threw up her arms and screamed, "Run, turkey! Run!"

My friend couldn't stop laughing. I am so angry I haven't been able to speak to her since. Abby, how could this woman be so insensitive to my feelings? Now I'm no longer sure this relationship is a good idea. Gwen is good-looking and can cook, but is this relationship worth salvaging? I'm not giving up my turkey hunts! -- TURKEYLESS IN ARKANSAS

DEAR TURKEYLESS: How can you call yourself "Turkeyless" when you brought Gwen with you?

Whatever her feminine virtues may be, Gwen is clearly not someone who's likely to develop a love for blood sports.

If your ideal woman is one who enjoys rising at 4:30 a.m., wearing camouflage while she accompanies you on a hunting expedition, you're barking up the wrong tree. Gwen may look like a trophy, but you've been chasing a decoy.

DEAR ABBY: My 91-year-old great-aunt, "Ethel," and I share a common interest in antiques and collectibles. Aunt Ethel's children and grandchildren have never expressed an interest in what they call "junk." Over the years, Aunt Ethel has given me various items that I cherish. One gift in particular she had had for more than 30 years before giving it to me about two years ago.

When she gave it to me, her daughter, "Sandy," asked her if she was sure she really wanted to give it away. Aunt Ethel said yes, she was sure. A week later, Sandy told me that Aunt Ethel shouldn't have given away the item. I offered to give it to Sandy because I didn't want to cause any conflict, but she refused it because it had already been given to me. She said she just wanted to let me know she was upset about it.

Now, Aunt Ethel has called and said that she's sorry to go back on her word, but she wants me to return the gift. I asked if she is having problems as a result of having given it to me, and she admitted that she is. So I know she is not asking for herself.

My family and friends are divided. Some say Aunt Ethel wanted me to have the item and I should keep it. Others say I should return it. What should I do? -- UNDECIDED IN LOS ANGELES

DEAR UNDECIDED: Return the gift. Whatever the value of the item, it has become an issue, and it is not worth starting a family feud over.

For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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