The hidden years in Canada 92,friends

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Monday 13 July 19:34



The sun was shining into the cabin of the old American which had now become my only place of refuge. De windows were still slightly ajar so some fresh air had entered during the night. The twittering of birds slowly dawned on me and I stretched out. ‘Ha, it was Friday,’ I thought, ‘I'd be here tomorrow waking up with my friends. I had become quite stiff from the old bench that had been intended at the time to sit and not to lie on. When I stepped outside there was a freshness in the air that made you feel wide awake. The birds really start the day, I realized. In any case, they announced the day. I started to feel a lot of respect for Ken, who had spent months in the bush by himself. Now, after three days, it seemed already like an eternity, and then there was still a small village nearby.

I was too restless to get wet and go panning, I decided to go to Jones for a hearty breakfast with eggs and ham and then afterwards drive to Calgary. I just could not wait to tell the boys and Bev about the blinkin’ brook. ‘There we have the gold digger again,’ Jones greeted  me with a smile. ‘Found anything yet, young man,’ he wanted to know? ‘I'd rather not say, Mr. Jones, if you know what I mean,’ I said uneasily. ‘Then I know enough,’ said the gaffer. ‘I'd rather not talk about,’ I said, ‘a hearty breakfast would go in well though.’ ‘Eggs sunny side up,’ said Jones, and I nodded.

After breakfast I was back in doubt, I would have an hour or so to kill, I could go panning and then go home or just go home and rest a bit and then meet the others at POP’s. I was so restless that I realized that it would be lost time whatever I did.  You simply lost a day with the driving back and forth and in the time remaining nothing more came out of your hands. I intended when the weekend was over, to give the car to Richard and then to spend a week in the bush. Then they could look me up a week later and meet me at an appointed place and we could all use all our spare time better. If Ken could have stayed for months in the bush, I would surely survive 5 days. I resolved to stock up on some simple supplies that would help me through the week. Just some canned food and drinks, which you could hang in a tree, so a bear or whatever other critter would not be able to reach.


‘Have you heard something special last night boy,’ asked the old man? At first I thought he was teasing me but when I looked up he seemed serious. ‘No, I slept in the car,’ I said, 'why?' ‘Hmm, good thing,’ said Jones, ‘there was a sheep torn up here in the fields.’ Hey, ‘I began,’ a Chucklewig? They only kill horses, right? ‘ It did not even occur to me that the existence of possible Chucklewigs had already been accepted by me. ‘No,’ said Jones, ‘not to judge from the claw marks, it looks like the print of a cougar.’ ‘I'm not happy about that,’ I said. I let the list of facts known to me on the cougar  pass my head. ‘Livees all across America, the male weighs between 60 and 100 kilos and is also known as mountain panther, mountain lion or American jaguar. Capable of killing fairly large prey such as deer. Suddenly some things fell into place. ‘Mr. Jones,’ I asked, ‘ are there cougars with a red coat?’ ‘That depends on the kind,’ the old man thought a minute 'yeah but I suppose there are reddish cougars. ‘ ‘Can they climb,’ I asked? ‘Boy can they climb,’ laughed the man, ‘they are tree cats. They seek a high spot and pounce on their prey. ‘

‘I think that is nice to hear.’ I said, ‘but not really. Do they attack people? ‘ The old man looked ahead. ‘Not that I know of, but when you come into their territory, probably.’ ‘What do they sound like Mister Jones?’ ‘I do not know,’ said the old man, ‘they'll blow and hiss I suppose.’ The piece of fur in the tree was now explained to me but not the large footprint. ‘I’ve got to go, 'I said, right after squaring up,’ thank you for the information. ‘ ‘What information?’ Asked Jones? 'About the cougar, ‘I replied. ‘Ah, there, you really should not worry about it,’ laughed the old man, ‘they don't like the smell of people and avoidus, it is well known fact.’ ‘Hmm,’ I said, 'I'll still prefer not to meet the old beast. ‘ ‘Nor you, nor me,’ said the man and he waved as I walked through the door.

San Daniel 2015

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