June 6, 2006

If it weren't for bad luck...

I was walking through the woods, the smell of the black spruce and the sound of the wind through the aspen reflected the glory of Mother Nature. I crossed a small brook, the water swirling among the rocks and came around a bend in the trail to a small meadow. The edges of the glade were choked with huge blackberry bushes. The berries were as big as my thumb and sweet as candy. Soon my hands and face were purple with juice.

I reached up high on a bush for a particularly succulent berry and suddenly smelt a horrid odor. I wrinkled my nose as I heard a grunt and rustle behind me. I turned to see a huge bear rising to his hind legs with a tremendous growl and roar. He swiped his left paw towards my head. I remembered an old Boy Scout lesson that said to play dead in the face of a bear attack and I fell to the ground motionless.

My mom always said I was good actor. I can tell you Burton and Brando had nothing on me that day. Jack Nicholson would have asked me for lessons, even if it meant skipping a Lakers game. I was barely breathing as that bear pushed at me with his claws and sniffed my neck. He breathed his putrid breath in my face as I was the greatest corpse ever. The bear shuffled off a few feet to feast on my berry patch, occasionally returning to make sure I was still dead.

I was as good a corpse as you have ever seen still breathing. Maybe, I realized, I was too good, as I felt the claws sink into my legs and the sharp beaks of the buzzards ripped into the flesh above my kidneys.

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