by underswansea


Last year the clouds were out along with the bears. Eleven in one outing. My old dogs and I ate steak, enticing the bruins, grizzly or black. I drank wine. The dogs kept watch, seeing I didn’t get into trouble. The fire was kept going through the night. The stars turned. We all noticed. The bears refused to charge, besides my constant egging .

The evenings are hidden beside the garbage bins. A lot has changed. The knife is still the same, along with the gun. My temper is back there if it needs to be called on. It gets me into trouble and out in the end. I shouldn’t love it but it keeps us safe. The old dogs knew it. They accepted the scolding and felt safe eating raw meat with bears prowling. Between the all of us we were a force to be reckoned with. It’s good to have friends like that.

The clouds rolled into the tamarack. The river roared in our ears.

The young dog trips on her ears. She barks at bugs and tries to catch butterflies. I look at her serious and she shows me her teeth. There is no telling what she will amount to.


Plenty of changes since then. The old dogs have been replaced by a yapping pup who wouldn’t know a bear from a stuffed toy. My temper is still down there, so is my thirst. The mountains never disappoint, nor the rivers. There is still plenty to learn. The little dog better pick it up on her own.

The day is old. The rain is coming down. The bears are out there. . . and I’m stuck in here.