When I'm not hanging around the waterfront, I may wander
inland to visit children. One lives way inland in western
Colorado. Out there is a vast wilderness called the
Uncompahgre Plateau, a land of high canyons, meadows and forests.
The Plateau is snowbound all winter but in summer, ranchers
graze their cattle in the high meadows. Howard, an elderly
friend, told me about his uncle who was one of those ranchers.
This uncle had a "cow camp" on 25 Mesa, a cabin where he stayed
near his cattle. Now I don't know where 25 Mesa got its name but
I could guess it's 25 miles from anywhere and much further from
Anyway, this uncle rode his horse off one day to hunt for bear
with his dogs. Bear are about as popular with ranchers as seal
are in a fish pen. So he spent some hours hunting, used up all
his ammo and headed back to his cow camp. About that time, his
dogs cornered a bear in a canyon.
Uncle called the dogs but not in time. One got too close and
the bear killed it with a swipe of its paw. That made uncle
really mad. He jumped off his horse, grabbled a big slab of
flat rock and clobbered the bear. The bear staggered back but
didn't fall. So uncle picked up the rock again and hit the bear
once more. That finished the animal.