The Deer and the Bear
It was late in the evening when they arrived at the hunting ground. The ground was white with snow that decorated the sparse undergrowth and tree branches.
“Lucy, go up and check on the rope and branch. Make sure it isn’t too rotted. Dust of the snow on the branches so we don’t slip in the night.”
“Ming check your log trap on the other tree. We need to give it a test.”
The two children scampered of while Chu started to bait the area with the pellets and the blood. The snow had covered and masked the scent from their previous baiting. This time Chu was hoping he wold be confident in keeping a wolf here. He had wrapped a stick with fat and rags dipped in blood. This was to be waved in the tree to entice the beast.
Strange enough Chu realize that it was so much easier to bait the carnivorous animals. The scent of blood could attract them from a distance and they were not overly cautious. He could not for the love of god remember any ways to set traps to attract and catch hares and small animals. The only trap he knew was like a cage that still needed the hunter to activate it manually.
He had never had the time and patience to actually look for those animals to discover their feeding grounds. He resolved to himself that once he made it through winter he would have Griz recommend him as an apprentice to a hunter for a couple of months. That way he would learn some skills to at least protect himself.
“Chu I want to test the log before it gets too dark. I will need your help to pull it back up.”
Hearing Ming calling, he scattered some of the blood on the white snow, dyeing it red.
“Chu! Something….SOMETHING is coming!”
Chu jumped up from what he was doing. After Lucy shouted he heard the underbrush being trampled as a huge shadow tore through it. By the time he registered the direction of the sound and turned, it was already upon him.
A deer? No something LIKE a deer but simply bigger and WAY more aggressive!
A large deer with some of the biggest antlers he had ever seen had jumped through the underbrush and paused for a second. It then rushed towards him seemingly with the intention to kill. When the animal had paused Chu noted its red frenzied eyes and the foaming mouth. Now those eyes were locked on him.
What the Frick!
‘Why the heck are you trying to kill me? I haven’t done anything to you.’
‘You should be happy that I am alive, who do you think has been contributing to controlling the wolf population in these here part of the woods?’
Like a last-minute slow motion video, Chu saw the seemingly triumphant look the deer gave him. He swore it was one of scorn as it looked upon an obviously lesser being.
So this is what it feels to be a cockroach he thought. Imagine in ones final moments the adrenaline didn’t produce the burst of power like in a manga, but suffered the protagonist through viewing his death in slow motion.
“I was sure that all those fat and blood never came from any deer….”
Those were Chu last words that flashed across his mind.
As he watched the head move towards him he saw a dark shadow approaching from the side.
Apparently the deer realized it too as its eyes that were focused on Chu glanced to the side. The eyes full of ferocity went from domination, to surprise, to amazement, to fear.
That was when the swinging log made contact with its face. A sickening sound echoed out.
The deer’s face was sent twisting to the side with the impression seen like a boxer delivering a right hook to an unprepared opponent. It was completed with the spittle and maybe some teeth that was sent flying.
As the deer crashed to the ground barely inches from him twisting over in spectacular wreckage, it scattered the snow in its wake.
“Chu!!! Chu are you all right?!”
The cries from above woke him up from his daze. He was still shaken from that life and death experience. He felt ashamed that in that fight or flight moment he could only be frozen in fear.
“I…I am ok.”
He cautiously took out his machete and held a spear in his other hand. The deer was lying on the ground in an awkward manner. Having flipped, somersaulted and rolled it was spread-eagled on the ground with its feet spread out and its ass high up in the air. The head was twisted in an unnatural way.
Remembering the difference in strength, Chu decided to be very cautious. Using the spear he conducted Ming’s trademark spear strike.
One piercing stab up the %$# later, Chu was convinced the animal was dead. Looking at it, it seemed somewhere between the hit and the rolling, it broke its neck.
“Holy s^%$ Chu I thought you were dead!”
Chu looked up at Ming, the different emotions bubbling inside him. Never in both lives had someone actually saved him from certain death.
That deer certainly had the intentions to skewer him and toss him to death.
Of course leave it to the idiot on the tree to ruin the mood.
“Thank god for that deer Chu! If it didn’t come along then the log might have crushed you. I released it by accident, but who would imagine eh? eh Chu?”
“Why you looking at me like that?”
“Chu why would the deer be running to attack us?”
Lucy’s words were like a wake up slap. The wild face full of froth pushed away the fear for a second.
The image of the deer as it jumped out of the underbrush returned to his mind.
‘Was something more terrifying behind?’
“Chu! I see….I see….. something…… big….aahhhh!!….b…e…a…r…”
Chu realized he would have no time to climb a tree to escape such a creature. He ran to the log now dangling on the rope between the two trees. By the time he climbed up the log and was pulling himself up the rope it appeared.
Unlike the deer that jump over the undergrowth, this beast simply lumbered through, tearing it like paper.
Strolling out, this beast had an aura of death reeking out from it. Large like a small pickup truck, this snow-white bear would he made a wonderful sight in a zoo. Out in the wild however, with no bars and protective barriers, this was simply a cold-blooded killing machine.
The bear gaze around raising its head and sniffing the air. Under the fading light, the first thing it noticed was the boy in front of it, seemingly half suspended in the air. With a growl it moved the tank like body forwards.
Chu wasn’t waiting all the time. He had already scrambled up the rope when the bear arrived below and raised itself on its back legs. With the paws extended it reached a height of nearly eight to nine feet.
The bulking forearms swiped down with the vicious curved claws. In one strike it sliced the rope like a knife cutting softened butter, causing the log to drop to the ground.
By that time Chu was making use of the pumping adrenaline to move on that rope like a coconut climber. With the log weight now discarded the branch moved up as the additional weight was removed. This even helped him to swing higher.
The beast circled below roaring in frustration. Chu climbed up and held on for dear life. He was thankful the bear didn’t have the intelligence to bite the rope and tug it. If that happened the branch or rope might break placing him into danger.
As sure as a light bulb getting hot when on, he was that close to pissing himself.
Two wooden spears rained down from above, one actually bouncing of the top of the beast head.
With a thunk it simply bounce like a ball falling on a hard ground.
While silently being shocked at the bear’s defense, Chu still called out.
Chu was hoping that the bear would grow tire of them and leave with the deer carcass. Unfortunately Lucy’s heroics aggravated at the wrong time.
The response to the attacker was a frontal assault. This beast could not be compared to the ones he knew. In front of this animal, a polar bear would be like a cub. Like a tank it had no fear on the battlefield.
Finding the source of the attacks it walked over and began to climb the tree. What was scary was that it was actually moving that big body faster than even Chu could hope to climb.
Hugging the tree trunk it moved at a constant pace the muscles bulging out and flexing from the limbs.
Lucy was not idle but climbing toward the tree top. The trees in the forest were tall and the one that was chosen was over sixty feet in height. Lucy had already reached over fifty feet in height when she slowly got onto a thick branch. She hugged it and crawled across until she reached close to the edge.
“Come and get me you beast!”
The bear eventually made its way up and without a second thought climbed onto the branch and crawled towards her. It didn’t have to crawl out very far to slap her down the tree.
Who would think that when the bear balanced all its weight onto the branch, that stout, thick branch would simply break of. As the branch and bear started to prove that the laws of gravity existed in this world, Lucy was left hanging onto a rope tied onto the higher branch.
As the bear crashed down, it experienced the same slow motion thoughts like Chu had before.
‘How come that thick branch broke? That never happen before, branched were supposed to bend and be supple!
Why did that girl suddenly start floating on air? Was she a big bird?
And why are there no branches beneath that one to break my fall? What kind of tree grows like this!
Oh….look the deer, haa seems like he was suckered also by these little bastards…why does that next tree reek of piss?’
With the fall on the ground, the bear suffered the consequences of a fall. With broken bones puncturing its vital organs, it moaned and whimpered until its last breath.
A powerhouse like this is capable of rampaging across a village and being near unstoppable. Even a small fall would not cause it major damage. As a beast that had experience hunting in a forest, it could easily break its fall from grabbing the lower branches.
This time was different. Not only was the solid looking branch deceptively weak due to the cuts from before by Lucy. But even all close branches under it was removed to prevent any cushioning from a fall.
A bear this size also had one weakness. Its size and weight from a fall that high would work against it. No matter the protective fur and steel like muscles, the shock from the fall had to do some damage.
An hour after the last moans were uttered, three children descended unto the ground. With the forest in darkness, only the rising moon provided a light source.
In tactic understanding, the three rushed away and hid where they could see the bear. If it only grunted they would not hesitate to run to the slums.
“What do we do, is it alive?”
“Can we still kill it, even injured that thing is like a suit of armor. Our spears are like matchsticks in front of that.”
“Holy hell Lucy that was amazing, you were sooo cool!”
“Lucy that was the bravest thing in the world. Ming why do you smell like piss?”
Even though they had trimmed the branches below and made the trap branch. It took courage to act as the bait in the face of such enormous and fierce-some foe. Chu knew that he could never have done what Lucy did. This valuable experience nearly cost him his life.
And it was not one time staring death, BUT TWO times!
The branch had been carefully weakened by cutting below. There was also a cut at the top. This was for the branch to completely break off from the tree than for it to simply swing back into the tree. Breaking completely off meant no chance of reaching the trunk to slow the fall. With all the branches underneath cut away, there was nothing to prevent a free fall to the ground.
“Do you guys think we can drag that deer?”
Chu broke the silence between them.