We were camping out into the wilderness, eight of us, including our guide. Our camp was situated near a river, surrounded by blue mountains that accusingly pointed rocky fingers at us.
The tall pine trees cast long shadows that quickly faded, as the copper sun loses its luster. Night came quickly to the valley, it was cold and we huddled around the fire, while our supper cooked. An owl spoke to the heavens and a star winked in reply. Our guide added more wood to the fire and the flames leaped up in a tantalizing dance, it was beautiful. We ate our supper under the stars while the heavens looked down on us approvingly.
After supper, I made my bed under the night sky along with everyone else, excluding our guide, who slept in his tent. The night was cool and pleasant. From where I lay, I had a good view of the river. Frogs croaked, and I saw the silvery outline of a fish as it leaped up and splashed back into the deep, silent running waters. The tree leaves rustled against each other and the sweet smell of the forest caused me to drift into a deep sleep.
The soft light of the moon illuminated our surroundings when I woke up. The camp was silent, for everyone seemed to be asleep. something must have caused me to wake up then. Of a sudden, there was a snort and a loud splash, as if something huge was wading across the river. Somewhere up river, I heard a god-awful shriek and my heart sank. A frightened thought raced through my mind. What if it was a group of alligators coming to dinner? Chills run down my spine, as the thought of us becoming the main course entered my mind.
As if to sum up my fears, the thing close by moved again, then silence. There was something out there, something that was headed straight for us. Suddenly, it snorted again and then I knew the answer. With my creative imagination, I visualized a huge grizzly bear, its nostrils held high, sniffing the air, getting ready to reek havoc on our camp. In my mind's eye, I could see it licking its lips, drawn to the tantalizing scent of left over roasted meat, breads, vanilla cakes, and other goodies.
There was a movement in our guide's tent. The tent flaps were raised and the guide stumbled out with his rifle. Slugishly, he pointed it in the direction of the bear, who was now on dry land. The big gun leaped in his hands, as its nozzle blossomed its orange colored fury. He swore, for he fired too quickly,and missed. The big bear was no fool, it ducked behind the thick growth of trees and lumbered away before our guide could fire again. That was the last we saw of our guest who came to dinner.
I am Gary Gordon, author of The Values Pursued Life on www.amazon.com or www.booksurge.com