ONE DAY BEHIND
The snow blinded his vision. The crosshairs aimed at the subject, he
fired, and missed. The deer, or whatever animal it was, ran off into a sea
He said nothing. The old hunter was getting too ancient for this
game. He decided to finish up for the day. He had already caught two snow
rabbits, a small partridge and some kind of mink. Not bad he thought.
“What is that?” Solomon rose from his crouched position to survey his
prey. A standing animal? Was it a standing bear? Or was it a tree? No,
it had walked off, seeing the look on the old’s man face.
“The day is not done.” those words sealed his fate. Nothing would
stop his hunting.
“I must be about a day behind him.” he thought aloud. He strode off
into the sea of the snow.
Is there a moment when the line between the hunter and the hunted
That moment when I realize I’ve got him and he realizes he’s dead?
YES! First there’s the dance, the slow teasing chase, the furtive
glances, the glimpses of your prey, and his wild frantic glances back. And
then the tug of war, of spirits, of wills, of endurance.
The wire of tension draws tight. Like and umbilical cord, the hunter
has bonded with his prey, forever, bonded by the life and death chase.
The fuse of life burns shorter, bringing the hunter closer, close, and
then the final intimacy of the kill!
Does the dumb beast know its fate? Can he guess its fate? Can he sense
his fate shadowing him, silently, stealthily?
He pondered his ideas and saw some tracks.
HALF A DAY BEHIND
“I wonder what his flesh will taste like. Will it be tough? Will it
bee….. AAAAACK!” Solomon gripped his hand on an icy branch. A snow
capped tree had covered the pit layed before him, a trap by the animal
which he was following.
He did nothing. He waited, patiently.
“…Beast, I will, I will get you.” and he froze.
FIVE DAYS BEHIND
He gripped the ice, slipped, and cursed. He had been stuck in this
hole for four, maybe five days now, according to the suns. How long more
will he be in here?
He tapped the ice with a small arrow. An idea! Forcing the arrow in
the ice, more and more, until several large footholds stood in front of
“…and my anxiety is gone.”
“Beast, Solomon will get you.”
The blowing snow almost, almost, covered the beast’s tracks. Unlike
any I have ever seen, whispered the old man. His bones ached with the
cold, a cold he had seen before. West, west his mind told him. He tugged
Soon after, he rested and cut up a rabbit, slowly letting the blood
drip into the wind to carry the scent. By now he was about five days
behind still, after his ordeal of climbing out. The beast was a smart one.
“and I am smarter.”
An owl howled in the distance.
STILL FIVE DAYS BEHIND
More tracks! This time bending north. He went west. He could cut
off this beast. The digestion of the rabbit was slow, the heart was the
slowest. He rested to look for tracks, and check the suns. A half moon’s
change until he could catch up to the beast.
” I WILL GET YOU!!!!!!!” Solomon screamed into the wind. He gibbered
uncontrollably, then stopped.
FOUR DAYS BEHIND
The beast was a smart one. Double tracks he saw. The first led west,
the second went east. The wind went west, blowing the dirty smell of a
soon to be dead beast to him. He went east.
“Your smell does not throw me off, your tricks do not fool me, I was
once an animal, and I still am.” Solomon cried in his heart and walked off.
THREE DAYS BEHIND
A dumb, deaf beast has done this to me again. The dumb, deaf, sly
beast has done this to him again. The hole is colder now, he thought. Now
the footholds will not help him. Arrows will not help him. Nothing will
help him. The dumb deaf beast has done this to him.
Maybe the beast will show up he thought, and he drifted off to sleep.
He woke up with a sound, and a thud. An armful of snow