Colorado Wilderness

One winter a few years back
I spent it alone in a Rocky Mountain shack
I went up there on a horse named Jefferson
He was a small stallion, he could barely carry one person
Jefferson was incessantly yellow and would jump at any sound
But after 4 days we reached the cabin for which we were bound

There was no technology, televisions or cell phones
I brought just books, a rifle and my lucky necklace of cougar bones
I lived off the land and hunted for my food
Kept the cabin warm by chopping wood
Grew a beard and never cut my hair
Made friends with amiable bear
The bear was a timid beast with an injured paw
It was the most harmless thing I ever saw
After about a month it allowed me to touch it
Nonetheless I was cautious with its paw as I removed the bullet

The bear seemed to take a liking to my horse
But Jefferson was uneasy around it, of course
The bear made a bed next to a large chopped log
'Fuzzy, ' as I called it, became my watch dog
It snarled when it glimpsed an incoming threat
However the paw worsened; it needed a vet
I knew Fuzzy couldn't return to society with me
And its pain and suffering would be difficult for any to see
So one morning, when it could no longer walk
With tears in my eyes, I gave Fuzzy one last talk
And as Fuzzy laid whimpering in its bed
I turned my face away and shot it in the head
I cried myself to sleep that night
Even though knowing what I did was only right

I drank all the shack's whiskey in the next week
I was too somber to even boil water from the creek
I became very sick and filthy
As a result, I was scrawny and hungry
So not exactly knowing what was best
I grabbed my rifle and set off into the forest
Jefferson seemed sad as I walked away
Almost as if he had something to say

I wandered for hours before I found any game
But in the deep snow it was impossible to aim
When nightfall came I was losing hope
The weather was dreadful, I knew I couldn't cope
I tried to cowboy up, I tried to push
But I ended up crawling under a bush
And as I laid there with my heartbeat nearly mute
Out of nowhere came a savior, a Ute
He carried me on his back to the rest of the tribe
When I got there the medicine man began reading from a scribe

I woke up two days later
Feeling much better
They fed me well and then asked 'why are you by yourself? '
I said I came up here alone to try and find myself
They told me they could help me with that
So we got up from the places where we sat
And went into a little room where we shared some peyote
I told them my name was The Lion, but they renamed me The Coyote
I asked why they called me that, they said the coyote is very brave
But eats all his food too quickly, he doesn't know how to save
A week passed and I thanked them after they took me back to the shack
Their last words were the solitary coyote most return to the pack

I lived alone for three more months in the cabin
Along the way I made friends with a deer and a robin
But I knew I had to go back to society
Where I'd be an outcast indefinately
However although I knew I would never be back to the shack again
I had not only found myself, but spirituality also, and life had just begun

by Paul the Lion

Comments (1)

Nice story but forgive me please... Lucky cougar bones? Not so lucky for the cougar. Patricia