The Bear Cub and Baby Doe

babydoe-120x150 bear cub

The Bear Cub and Baby Doe

Steady drops fell from the melting icicles along the eaves with a monotonous sound which finally brought irritation to Miles Barrett. He was self-possessed with finishing the manuscript…so very close to the end of his mystery novel and having trouble with the ending. After the fourth correction in the last minute he was getting angry with the dripping sound. The arrival of sun this morning had renewed his energy for editing, re-writing, and possibly completing his manuscript.

A tall handsome man with a three-day beard and disheveled brown hair stopped and slapped his right hand on the desk, ran both hands through his unruly hair and cursed when he touched the cow-lick that had been with him all his life. In his instant pique he was aware that he was being silly with this behavior. He smiled and muttered softly, ‘You’re losing it, buddy!’

Miles quickly rose and left the loft office, descended the stairs, grabbed a broom, and went out the front door. For the next ten minutes he walked around the deck and knocked the icicles from the eaves. ‘Ah, no more drips!’ he said aloud and walked toward the front door. The weather report reported 50 degrees but it seemed much warmer, and he was comfortable in his jeans and pullover sweater.

As he approached the front door entry Miles noticed movement and noise down by the cabin’s propane tank. Woods surrounded the property and opened to a canyon at the back of the cabin. The tank was on the edge of the bluff and five acres of surrounding forest at the southern portion of the cabin. Other cabins were nearby but could not be seen through the trees.

Again, Miles noticed movement of brush and noise on the far side of the tank and decided to walk cautiously closer. Instinctively he picked up a dead three-foot tree branch that had fallen during one of the recent storms…the branch would afford modest protection from an unknown animal and predator. Miles pressed his body against the rounded bluff-end of the tank and prepared to peer around it when a loud baying sound erupted and made him involuntarily quake in his short boots. He could run for the cabin, or, he could look around the tank and see the commotion… He looked around the tank…

Miles’ eyes did some wild blinking…there in front of him was a bear cub and baby doe. The baby doe scampered some twenty feet, stopped, looked back, and wavered, to run deeper into the forest of trees or to stay. The bear cub eyed the strange man standing in front of him, eyed the baby doe, and ran to join the doe. Now, both the bear cub and the baby doe eyed Miles, as if to say, ‘What is it you want? We’re just playing here!’

Miles found himself talking to the animals. “Hey, guys, I mean you no harm. Go ahead and play… You’re both so beautiful!” He smiled and felt inane.

Then, a funny thing happened… They ignored Miles and began joyfully playing, the cub giving a feint growling sound and gently pawing the flanks of the doe, while the doe pawed back playfully and occasionally rubbed its head in an affectionate way against the rough fur of the bear cub.

Miles stood, fascinated by the interplay of the two animals. He had received e-mails from people showing animals of different kinds playing or cuddling with each other in the wild. Now, he could believe those magnificent displays of nature.

As he stood there, his mind churned and spilled out metaphors for human behavior. This display in front of him was one of the most beautiful scenes he had ever experienced. He leaned there against the propane tank and watched, spell-bound by the lovely creatures at play. He could not say how long he stood and watched the animals.

Suddenly, there was a mighty roar from somewhere in the woods. It sounded to Miles like an impatient bear roar.

The small cub in front of Miles jumped with the sound and cutely scurried through the trees. The baby doe gave Miles one last look and gracefully bound away.

All became quiet in the forest. Miles walked back to the cabin, up to writing loft, and deleted the entire last chapter of his manuscript. What he had just seen would be embellished and serve as his ending.

To think, inspiration for writing could be all around us.

Miles would have a beautiful story to tell his wife when she returned from shopping… If he had only captured those scenes with his camera! But then, in retrieving the camera, he could have lost all that beauty.

Billy Ray Chitwood – January 17, 2015

If you like romance, love, and murder in combustible pages, you might want to read my novel, The Reluctant Savage, a noir-type fast-paced romp that includes a love triangle mixed with some dark and evil business. The characters have 3-D dimension, are portrayed well, and the action is set in Phoenix, Arizona. I could tell you that the book has some 5-Star reviews on Amazon, but it is likely much better that you determine a rating after you read it. So, dig in, read it, have some fun, and leave your own Amazon Review… I had a ball writing it!

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