The Dark and Coldest Night

My son Jeramy just killed his first elk when we heard the blood-curdling scream of the mountain lion. I said, “Listen up. Put four rounds in your magazine and one in the chamber 'cause that big cat is going to try and jump us.” My son took the lead. We had not gone far when I spotted him up in the rocks, perched like he was getting ready to jump my son. I took aim and shot him in the foot. He darted away.

It was about five thirty in the evening when I decided I had better head for the truck. When an ominous black cloud came overhead and just poured down rain. It soaked me to the bone and within one hour, it had snowed a foot and turned from fifty degrees to twenty below zero with sixty mile per hour winds. I bowed my head and said, “Lord, please let me find shelter.” I only walked a short way when I spotted a giant spruce tree. I crawled in under the heavy branches of the tree. It was about one thirty in the morning when I heard the growl of the bear. And he started to dig under the tree.

--Lynn Dreher

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