Friday, May 17, 2013

Prompt: Moving, Fang, Recall, Shock, Bear, Brother (use at least 3 of these)

Bunjee didn’t remember his first life. The one he must have started with other dogs. His earliest memories were of Mama Bear and his den brother Mukwa, whom he always called Salmon Breath. Mama Bear used to say she couldn’t tell them apart, because they had the same long, curly brown and black fur. She groomed them together, fed them together, slept curled up with them together. Bunjee never thought he was a bear. He just didn’t care that he was different, because they didn’t treat him any differently.

Then the hunters came. The men with guns set traps that Bunjee saw easily, but Mama Bear and Mukwa couldn’t seem to recognize. Bunjee tried to warn them, but he couldn’t find them all in time, and Mama Bear was caught. Bunjee and Mukwa tried to open the trap until she roared at them to leave because the men with guns were coming back. They ran all the way to the den and waited for her to find them. She never did. They finally got hungry enough to leave the den and forage on their own.

Bunjee didn’t know the men with guns had seen him. He didn’t know there was more than one kind of trap. He snarled and growled and struggled until they pinched his side and his legs stopped working. He fell down on the ground, and his tongue stretched out of his mouth into the dirt. That was the end of his second life.

He woke up in a cage. A woman brought food and water. She sat by the cage and spoke for a long time. He didn’t understand what she said, but he liked the sound of her voice. She came every day. He let her pet him, brush him, bathe him. She put a collar on him and he tried to pull it off. She gave him treats. She trained him how to act like a dog, not a bear. She named him Bunjee, because he was so bouncy, she said. She took him to her home.

They walked out into the desert every day, and sometimes up into the mountains. Sometimes she would put a big pack on his back and carry a pack on her back. That meant they were staying outside overnight. That meant Bunjee could chase rabbits. He liked those trips the best of all.

One day, they hiked far up into the mountains. The sun had melted all the snow, and the spring flowers bloomed in every sunbeam. Bunjee heard baby birds everywhere, and the rustling of rabbits and other prey in the brush. He wandered farther and farther from the woman, but he came back every time she whistled. She had good treats in her pocket, and she petted him while she spoke in her beautiful voice.

Bunjee chased a rabbit and then an unwary gopher. He heard the woman’s beautiful voice, but it was loud and harsh. Scared. His ruff and hackles raised and he raced to find her. He crashed through the brush and barreled into her legs. She was facing a large standing bear who roared at her with wicked, long, bared fangs and claws. Bunjee ran in front of her, snarling. He looked at the bear and sat back on his haunches in surprise.

Mukwa? Salmon Breath!

Dogs in house:
Houdini, Brindle, Fudge

Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor

Time writing:
~30 minutes

May word count:


  1. Prompt: Moving, Fang, Recall, Shock, Bear, Brother (use at least 3 of these)

    The stick cracked under my foot. I stopped moving. The night woods was far less silent than I had imagined, but I still felt my every move shouted out my presence. When I had convinced myself that the chirping and hooting and rustling was no different than before, I stepped forward again.

    My brother would be better at this than I: a ranger, he had left home to our father's derision, then anger, then worry, and eventually pride. I, the dutiful son, had stayed home and learned the family milling business. But now the mill was burned with everything else for leagues around. It would have been more useful to have followed my brother.

    The woods went silent. I stopped again, with one last crunch of the leaves under my descending left foot. A deep woofing and several considerably louder crunches sounded. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was only a bear.

    The bear appeared to knocking down a tree: several rattles and then a crash. The cacophony of the night woods reasserted themselves, and I resumed my creep. Part of my mind reflected with amusement on my recent thoughts: _only_ a bear. I was far from the timid mill boy already. The rest concentrated on being quiet.

    Time writing: 15 minutes

    1. Very nice description! And I got a chuckle w/the narrator about "only" a bear! Good hints of backstory - would love to know more!