Carbon Express Arrows
Family Tree
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Bowriter 07-Sep-17
APauls 07-Sep-17
Lark Bunting 07-Sep-17
Scar Finga 07-Sep-17
Medicinemann 07-Sep-17
Scar Finga 07-Sep-17
MF 07-Sep-17
From: Bowriter
07-Sep-17

Bowriter's embedded Photo
Bowriter's embedded Photo
By John L. Sloan 2017 Artwork by Dave Samuelson

Family Tree.

Light snow covered the ground, the first of the year. Two days ago, he began slowly moving down from the small, hidden mountain meadows. There was food enough and good cover in dark timber. This year, he took a new trail. It would lead him to places he had never seen. Something just pulled him, that way.

He did not know why.

Down through the drainages, across benches he meandered. This year he had not yet started gathering a harem. He would. Soon, he would start banding a few cows. There was time it was early. He started down early this year, before the snow came deep, up high.

He did not know why. To the west, would be the food-rich pinion-juniper country, dotted with large ranches, cattle now, gathered and moved out. But he could spend some time there, feeding and gathering a harem. But he did not, he stayed straight down the sloping points and drains. Moving several miles each day.

He did not know why.

Once, he stopped and gazed for a long while across a wide drainage. On the far side, two smaller bulls milled with a herd of cows and calves. He knew he could easily dominate the smaller bulls, claim the harem as his own. But he didn’t. He moved on, downward toward the thick conifers and the giggling river. He knew it giggled.

He did not know why.

Thirty-miles away, in a small ranch house, three men sat around a kitchen table. The oldest, smoothed his grey moustache and blew across a cracked, enamel cup of coffee. “When you reckon to go?” He asked. The next oldest, a stout man in his 40’s. He rubbed his head beneath the beaten and weather stained Resistol hat.

“I reckon soon, Pa, soon as we get the last of them shipped. Maybe Thursday or Friday if that suits you, Ronnie.” The youngest, just 20, thought a minute before he replied. “Friday will work fine, Dad. But Gramps, I wish you would go with us. It will be fun. Maybe like the old days.”

The old man grinned. “Naw, me, I’m too old and stove up for an elk hunt. I killed my lastun back before the old cabin fell in. Nailed his horns up on a big pine, down by the river. Like as not, they’s gone, now. You boys go. Kill us some meat.”

The youngest shook his head. “Why did you just nail the horns up and leave them? I heard they were huge.”

The old man grinned again. “Button, back then, we didn’t hunt for horns. We hunted for meat and aint no matter how much you boil them things, you can’t eat elk horns. You guys get out of the kitchen now, and do the barn chores.”

He came through a meadow, brown and drying with signs of cattle having been there. His pace was steady, following the river. From time to time, he ventured into the dark timber and snuffed deeply of the thick duff. Once, just for an instance, he saw a flash as a tawny shape ghosted away. He did not know how, but he knew the cat was not hunting him.

He did not know why.

At early morning, he came to a clearing. Something old yet somehow familiar stood there. He knew he had never been in this place. But it seemed as though he had. On a tree, just across the small river, something familiar was nailed. He knew this place.

He did not know why.

Rifts of snow stirred across the ground. He stood knee deep in the cold river, staring at the tree and the white object on it. He knew that object. He felt connected…deeply connected. A kinship, almost like family. He felt that.

He did not know why. ###

From: APauls
07-Sep-17
LOVE the artwork! Story is good too

From: Lark Bunting
07-Sep-17
Great image! I hope you don't mind if I saved it to my rotating computer background.

From: Scar Finga
07-Sep-17
Thanks Bowriter, I always enjoy your stories:)

From: Medicinemann
07-Sep-17
He enjoyed the artwork. He enjoyed the story. He did not know why.

From: Scar Finga
07-Sep-17
Jake,

LOL, That's Funny!

From: MF
07-Sep-17
Neat! Notice the drop tine?

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