Tyler is on his first camping trip and is attacked by bear and hopelessly lost. An Old Cherokee man helps him find his way home.
Small Mountain Publishing
On his first camping trip to the Appalachian Mountains Tyler is attacked by bears and carried off deep into the mountains. He escapes but is hopelessly lost.
He meets an old Cherokee man who helps him find his way home and at the same time teaches Tyler about the mountains and the Cherokee people.
This is also a story about a young man’s search for answers about his heritage and the decisions he makes.
Tlyer has mutiple heritages that make him asked the question, 'Who am I?' His peers and friends are relentless in asking him to answer that question.
After being lost in the mountains an old Cherokee man guides Tyler home and aids him in the answer he seeks. The old man makes it clear it is a decision that Tyler must make on his own. He teaches Tyler about the mountains and the Cherokee way of life as they make their way through the mountains.
Tyler Hill's Decision is an adventure story with an unlying message.
Tyler Hill’s Decision
Tyler Hill lay in his sleeping bag, unable to sleep. It was late and he knew from the sounds around him that everyone else was fast asleep.
He thought, ‘This must be what it’s like to be blind.’
It was pitch black; he couldn’t see his hand in front of his face and he was wide awake. He was excited about the climb up the mountain in the coming morning. This was his first time camping deep in the Appalachian Mountains and he was amazed at how cold it could get at night, even in the summer.
He heard a noise outside his tent. It sounded like a dog sniffing around for food, but it must be a really big dog because the noise was loud and close to his side of the tent. Then he heard grunts and digging close by.
‘It must be a bear,’ he thought. ‘I told Lamar not to bury the leftover food so close to the tent,’ but Lamar, Tyler’s best friend, wanted to see some bears. ‘Well, here’s his big chance.’
He reached out and shook Lamar’s sleeping bag and all he got was a grumble and blowing noise out of Lamar. The grunts and sniffing noise stopped outside as Lamar groaned.
‘That wasn’t a good idea,’ he thought.
Slowly the noise started up again, but now it was moving towards the flap opening in the front of the tent. Tyler reached for his pack that held, among other things, his flashlight. He pulled the bag inside his sleeping bag. He grasped the flashlight and pointed it towards the front of the tent and slid the switch forward. It was a really nice flashlight with brand new batteries and the light shot out like a laser beam that blinded him for a moment.
He closed his eyes against the brightness and when he opened them again he was looking into the face of a big black bear. Its nose was wet and shiny black and it had beady little eyes set back from a long snout. The bear’s fur was glossy black and its body more than filled the entrance to the tent.
The beam of light must have startled the bear because it rose up on its hind legs, opened his muzzle and roared in what Tyler hoped was fright. All Tyler could see now were four giant fangs as the bear roared again.
When it roared it must have startled the other bears that were searching for food because one of them slapped and bit into the roaring bear’s rear end. The bear, standing inside or really standing with the tent wrapped around it, made a yelping sound of fright at being bitten and having the nylon tent wrapping itself around him. It leaped forward and Tyler rolled to the side as best he could while still inside his sleeping bag. The ground shook where the bear’s paws slammed into the earth next to Tyler’s head as it ran off with the tent wrapped around its head.
Tyler turned the beam of the flashlight towards the direction the bear had taken and it was almost comical to see the beast slamming into trees and bushes as it ran blindly through the forest. It hit a larger pine tree that did not yield to its great power and the bear fell to the ground but then it leaped back up to continue its blind rampage through the forest.
Tyler turned the beam back and now he was looking at not one but two big bears and, to his consternation, they were looking at him. He tried to remember all the instructions the scout leader had given to the boys about what to do if they came across a bear. Don’t look directly at them and back away very slowly until they lost interest. Good advice, he guessed, except he was stuck inside his mummy-style sleeping bag and the two bears didn’t seem to be losing interest. They were both sniffing the air and one lowered its head toward Tyler’s feet. Tyler rose up just enough to look at the bottom of his sleeping bag and saw that someone had rubbed peanut butter all over the bottom of it. At that point he ducked into his bag, curled up into a ball and turned the light off.
By now the boys were waking up in the other tents around the camp and flashlights were shooting white laser beams into the night.
There were shouts and screams and someone was yelling, “Bears!”
At the same time the others were beginning to panic the first bear had run in a circle and was heading back into the camp with the tent firmly wrapped around its head. It ran straight through another tent and it too wrapped around the bear and tangled its feet. It tumbled to the ground.
There were screams and people fleeing all around but finally one of the leaders, who had brought a large pistol with him, drew the pistol and fired two loud shots into the air.
Everyone froze except the three bears. The one wearing two tents sprang forward with great speed and ran directly into the trunk of a giant pine tree. It hit so hard it must have knocked itself out because with a muffled grunt it hit the ground and lay still.
The other two bears were busy trying to lap up the peanut butter and were paying no attention to the screams and shouts until the pistol went off. When it roared out, with fire leaping from the barrel, the larger of the two bears snatched up the end of Tyler’s sleeping bag and leaped forward with it dragging along beside him. The other bear, having tasted the excellent brand of peanut butter, was not about to let it get away so it was right behind the other bear, trying to take a bite out of Tyler’s sleeping bag.
Tyler hadn’t seen anything after he ducked inside his bag, but the noise of screaming and yelling and the fact that the two bears were chewing on the end of his sleeping bag made him curl even tighter. When the pistol went off he jerked in fright and then he was moving at what seemed to be great speed. He reached up to the small opening in his sleeping bag and got his hand on the edge of the hole. He was trying to unzip the bag but at the same time he was bouncing and scraping though thick bramble and small trees. He reached out as far as he could and grabbed a handful of thick fur and realized that it was the bears that had him. He had hoped some of his buddies had grabbed his bag and were pulling him away from the bears.
Just as he was going to let go of the thick fur his bag hit a small tree and it lifted into the air and swung onto the back of the bear. Tyler got his other hand out of the bag and grabbed another handful of fur. The ride was much smoother than crashing through bushes and trees. It was like riding a crazy roller coaster backwards. His feet were forward and his head was toward the tail of the bear. He could smell the powerful odor of the bear and it caused him to gag. It was the smell of dead things, dirt, leaves and a musky smell that reminded him of the tigers at the zoo. He was frightened but he had to concentrate on hanging on to the back of the bear and that dissipated some of his fear.
The bear still had the bottom of his sleeping bag firmly in its mouth and Tyler had a death grip on its furry rear haunches. They raced along with the other bear in hot pursuit. The bear was going up a steep incline but as hard as Tyler tried to look out, there was nothing to see. It was still deep in the night.
The bears continued up the mountain, both wanting to have the entire delicious treat. Tyler had no idea what would happen when they found the juicy boy inside the bag, but he was sure he didn’t want to find out.