Search just our sites by using our customised site search engine

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Click here to learn more about MyHeritage and get free genealogy resources

Duck Lake
Chapter IV. The Cow and the Bear

JONAS had spent the night in Chubb's lodge, and when the boy returned in the morning the Indian was eating his breakfast. After enjoying a meal of bear-steaks, Chubb and his friend visited the bear-trap, re-set and baited it with pork. Jonas made Chubb a wooden frame on which to build up his bear, then he started out to dispose of the rest of the bear-meat amongst the settlers.

Chubb worked carefully on his bear-skin and cleaned it thoroughly. Then he secured from a stack in a clearing some good dry hay for stuffing. While going for the hay Chubb kept a sharp look-out for the lost cow, and when he was returning with his bundle of hay he was delighted to see her.

She was a lively beast at any time, and now she was doubly alert. Cattle that are allowed to run loose in the bush ruffle up and are much more active and spirited than the stall-fed. And Chubb saw the cow look at him with head up and ears alert. The way in which she held her horns told him to be careful how he approached. All this Chubb noticed, and was glad. He did approach her, and gave her a few wisps of his hay. But he almost dropped his bundle in delight when he got beside her, for out from the trees there bounded towards them a lively little calf.

By driving and coaxing, Chubb got the cow near his lodge. Then he tied her to a tree with a rope, and kept her to be introduced to a bear. He was blessed in the mean time, for the milk the cow gave him made a great addition to his regular diet.

But Bossy did not have to wait long for her strange introduction. On the second afternoon after her arrival Chubb came dancing home from his trap. There was a big she-bear in it, and a little cub outside. Chubb hastily got out his halter and ropes. Untying the cow from the tree, he led her and her calf to his bear-trap. When the cow scented the bear her eyes grew wild, and she almost pulled the rope out of Chubb’s hands. He succeeded, however, in tying her to a tree, and then he went over to the bear. The weight of the logs had crushed the animal almost senseless. Cautiously pulling away a side log, Chubb slipped inside, and managed to get his halter over the bear’s head. She roused herself a little, but the logs held her fast. Chubb added a rope to the halter, and tied it around the bear’s nose as well as her neck.

Having finished this work to his satisfaction, he lifted up the slip-logs. Relieved of the weight that crushed her, the bear recovered her senses and was angry, but she could only roll over and groan in her pain. She roused herself, however, very quickly when she saw Chubb near at hand and the cow not very far away. With every minute her strength increased.

The cow was now frantically pulling at her rope. She would run around the tree, this way and that, trying to get away; trying also to keep her calf in sight, and sometimes making as if she would like to have a drive at the bear. The bear could not see her cub, and, as the cow was making such a fuss, it seemed to think that the cow was the cause of all her trouble. It was greatly annoyed at the straps and ropes around its head, and tore at them with Its paws. The halter-straps broke, and then, to Chubb’s horror, he saw the bear slip the ropes off its head. Thus free, the bear stalked over towards the cow. Whenever the bear moved, the cow would wheel around and face it, with her horns near the ground, ready for any attack. The bear had not fully recovered from its crushing, and therefore only slowly and cautiously approached the cow. When the bear rested the cow would raise her head and bellow to her calf, and try to get away with it from that dangerous place.

When near her antagonist, the bear raised itself on its hind legs. This action caused the cow to make another frantic effort to get away from the tree. The rope broke, and she was free. With her tail in the air she charged the bear. The bear caught the cow’s horns in her paws and nearly broke her neck, but the cow’s charge was too furious to be stopped. One of her horns caught the bear’s paw and tore it. A stream of blood spurted over the cow’s nose. The smell of blood angered her still further, and she charged again. This time she was more successful, and sent a horn right between the bear’s ribs.

With a groan of rage and pain the bear fell. The cow ran this way and that way in her excitement, bellowing all the while for her calf.

Chubb thought that the bear was killed, and went over to it. Though badly hurt the bear turned suddenly, and caught Chubb by the arm. She nearly ground it to bits with her teeth. In his agony Chubb fell on the ground, while the bear raised itself up and stood over him. In its fury it clawed his shoulder and back, and Chubb would have been killed had not the cow noticed the movement of her antagonist. When she saw it up, she charged it again. Catching the bear squarely on the side, she sent it rolling off the boy.

Chubb, thus relieved, got up and ran as hard as his legs could carry him to his lodge. He had a few thoughts by the way, but they were not upon the virtues of prophecy. Overcome by fright and pain, he threw himself upon his bed of boughs, and became unconscious. In this condition Jonas found him.

Return to Book Index Page

This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.