Nudged Awake By A Six-Point Buck

Another Cold Night On The Mountain
Aug. ’73

Although I was close to the top of Bear Mountain, I slept surprisingly well;
the deer became my guardians. Not only did they stay close,
they stayed too close. I had to put logs around where
I was sleeping to keep them from stepping on me. The sound of their
breathing and chewing became the lullaby that lulled me to sleep. My
premonition of a frigid night proved correct. In fact, I woke up a couple
of times to throw more wood on the fire.

I did have one uncomfortable moment, though. While I was sleeping on
my side, something pushed on my back. My eyes immediately popped wide
open. I didn’t know whether to move or lie still. It was a long
moment. Then I heard the sound of plastic crumpling (I was sleeping on
the piece of visqueen). When I turned to see what had nudged me, I
startled the six-pointer that was going after the grass under the
plastic. Apparently, the deer’s antlers had nudged me awake. After
that, I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I went for more firewood. There
was enough light coming off the cold, shining, half-moon to let me find it.

As I was breaking up the wood and throwing it on the fire, I heard
another roar. It was a bear either coming down from the pass (bears
didn’t travel in pairs so that was probably not the case), or heading
back up the canyon. If that were true, “my buddy” would have had to
pass me in the night while I was sleeping. Neither thought was
pleasant. Needless to say, I didn’t go back to sleep, but at least I
kept warm, and when there was enough daylight, I walked down to the
stream to collect my dishes. My four-quart pan was bent, but still
usable. I couldn’t find my mess kit. Instead, I found lots of Grizzly
Bear tracks in the mud. The big guy had been there all right. I hadn’t
seen him, but I was okay with that, really!


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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