Just remembering my Alaska days

Once I was running a metal detector up the banks of an unnamed stream looking for the yellow iron. It was a beautiful day. The sky was a robin’s egg blue, the breeze was warm and birds flitted among the branches. I was wearing headphones, but had one ear uncovered in case some big ugly ill tempered critter took exception to my being there.

Working my way around a bend in the stream I came to an aburpt stop. Something was watching me. I look around to see a Robber Jay sitting on a limb looking at me as if to ask “What are you doing here? Don’t you know this is bear country?” Of course I know! But I’m Manly Man! Hunter of much gold! (Yeah , right) 

A few yards upstream I glance up to see something strange. It looks a lot like a huge bear’s head glaring at me over the tops of some ten foot trees. Nah! It can’t be! I mean it looks like a bear, but bears can’t be that tall … can they? Pretending I didn’t see it, i start backing slowly down the stream. Heck. There weren’t no gold here anyway and even if there was it wouldn’t be enough to bother with. Let the bear keep it. While I’m at it … Let the bear keep everything including the trees, ant fish in the stream, even the birds in the air! They are all yours Mr. Impossibly Big Bear! 

I back clear around the bend of the stream before releasing the snap on my holster. “You know that little popgun on your hip will just anger him all the more if you shoot him.” I tell myself. “Yeah but if I shoot him five times and me once, i won’t care how angry he gets! Right!”

 I shall not say that I turned and ran. That would be a misnomer. I turned a flew with a foot touching the ground about every thirty feet. Suddenly I’m only a hundred yards from the truck and closing too fast to radio the flight tower. One last log to hurtle and I’m in the truck. Safe! Heading back to where the bears are decent sized, not some disgustingly horrible thing that I just witnessed! Just as I clear the log I hear something in the brush behind me. “It’s the bear!” my mind screams. “It has come to masticate my delicious delicate bones in those awful yellow ivory fangs! It will rend my succulent flesh with those terrible claws! Draw your gun!”  I landed in mid turn wrenching hell out of my ankle. As I turned expecting top see two thousand pounds of ugly with an appetite about to pounce on me, I see the Robber Jay looking as if to say … “See? I told you this is bear country!” Crawling on all four, I made it to my truck and was glad to be going home. : )

JC

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