One Wave – Excerpt

One Wave – Excerpt

…"What happened next was bound to happen, because I broke another one of those rules. This night we were just getting ready for bed. Ami was just putting the last few things away. As she walked past the window, she calmly glanced outside. When she did her eyes grew wide. The look on her face said enough.

In my bare feet I grabbed the shotgun and headed out the door. It was a clear and moon lit night. At first I couldn’t see anything but a really big shape.About twenty feet in front of me was a thirteen foot Brown Bear staring down at me.

He was standing on his back legs, mouth opened wide and under his huge right arm, like he was holding a small package… was one of our goats.

When the bear saw me he went to all fours landing on only three feet still clung tightly to the goat like a pillow."

"I put the first round right above his head hoping to scare him into dropping the goat as he ran away. But he just stopped for a minute, turned around to look at me. I followed, fired another shot over him, as close as I could get.

By this time I was standing halfway between the barn and cabin when suddenly the bear turned around and stood up. I looked back toward the house and realised I was too far away to run.

In the blink, he hit the ground on all fours and headed toward me like a galloping horse. He stopped dead in his tracks about ten feet away from me.

Standing straight up in a ferociously threatening stance, he swung a massive left arm at me, missing me by only a few inches"

"As he was standing, looming over me like some crazed Godzilla-like creature, I pulled the trigger hitting him in the middle of the chest with a twelve gauge slug from only ten feet away. He looked down at his chest and quickly back at me.

All I did was make him even madder. he threw that goat down, lowered his head and charged directly at me. I fired of three more rounds hitting the same spot each time.

To my surprise he then raised back again, standing tall on his back legs. As he came at me this time I reloaded, slowly backing backing away.

With all the strength this magnificient bear had, he cam at me again. Seven slugs in all, and I fired them off… one right after the other! Finally he threw his head back, then forward again and came crashing to the grund."

"I stared down at this noble animal, as he lay lifeless only four feet in front of me. Then the realization of what just happened sunk in and I begane to shake uncontrollably.

As I stood there looking down at him, I knew that someone up above had been looking out for me.

Pain from my hands and feet brought me back to reality. Both of my feet were cut and bleeding from the punctures by the rocks and limbs.

My hand was gashed and bleeding from where the chamber had slammed shut on it. A flap between my thumb and finger was almost gone.

Ami and the kids had watched the whole thing from the window and I had won. The goat was hurt but like me he lived through it."

"Most people go through life not knowing what they really are deep inside. We all say what we would do and we hope what we dream is true, but it’s rare to really know for sure.

I was scared through and through, but even against a thirteen foot charging bear, I didn’t back down.

But while I was basking in my macho glory, the true tragedy of this event began to rise up into my head like a fever, taking that fleeting moment of glory away. This was no monster, but one of the most beautiful animals I had ever seen.

The rule I broke was simple, I brought goats and chickens to a place they didn’t belong. That night I vowed that if the wilderness or wildlife of Alaska ever changes, it won’t be because of me."

"That bear was the first thing I ever killed without eating. I didn’t take his hide, claws or teeth, only one claw did I take from his paw, to help me remember the wrong I had done.

That noble head would never hang on a slab of wood on a wall. I burried that bear with dignity, like a falen soldier, for that is how I felt it should be.

He rests there still, right beside the empty barn, in the wilderness and forest that was his home."

Billy Bryan Brown

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