Hunting Bear with Eric

“There is no evidence of ecstasy in this blood.” Eric said.

As usual Eric was saying words that meant about ziltch. Eric is my friend but Eric is not very accurate when he speaks. Eric speaks for effect, not for saying anything you can put in your freezer.

The bear was still out there. It was could still be alive. And if so, it was probably not happy. This is essentially what Eric meant when we saw the spoor.

“You have the brightest way of saying this is turning out to be a shitshow,” I said.

“Outhouses have better ventilation.”

“O, too true.”

We could smell the heavy rankness of the beast, the smell of death and garbage cans.

“How heavy can a silence be?” Eric noted.

There was a nearby chickadee-dee-dee-dee wondering what the hell was going on. But this and the wind whoosh in the firs was about it. And I will admit, Eric hit on how ominous this was.

We followed the spoor. It was heavy, and we were hoping fatal.

“You are, of course, unsafe and locked on the load,” Eric said. This was quite a sanguine statement from him. He was not a hunter, a word killer perhaps, but not a hunter. And he had come with me only because—well because we are friends and I welcome all friends on a hunt, armed or not. Also, I find his murder of the English language quite entertaining.

“For bear,” I said. We were whispering, which was insane because if it was still living it knew where we were. It knew we were coming. It knew exactly what was coming its way.

We followed the spoor. It was clotted. I pointed to a particularly heavy clot, “Good sign.”

“A sign-off sign, perhaps?” Eric said.


The spoor lead to a park where the yellow fall grass bent in the wind. At the lower end of the park a grove of leaf-bare aspen and willow clattered under the wind-whirred tamarack and fir. Against the white aspen trunks was a brown-gray mound, like dirt or a lichened rock. I scoped it, and could see the waver of fur in the wind.

“We’ll wait here,” I said.

“And wait for evidence of the bloody ecstasy we have made.” Eric said.

“Yeah,” I said. “It’s probably a gonner.”

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