Seasons Greetings, Bears of New Jersey: Hunting Season is extended.
Requiem for Ursus Americanus, The American Black Bear
“Your winter gal don’t cook much. You look thin,” she said. “Aw, Pippy,” Duncan answered. “You look like you been drinkin’ hard and sleepin’ in a bear’s cave. What kind of whore don’t take better care of you,” Hat continued saucily. Duncan would not dare be ill tempered in the circumstances. “Aw, hush, little hen, stop cluckin’ at me. You look plump and pretty. What you been doin’ all winter?” “Makin’ soap,” Hat snapped. “And is a damn good thing. Your clothes stink!” She pushed his dirty things along the ground with her foot and laughed merrily. Duncan laughed, too. Hattie’s gentle fussing was a winter pleasure sorely missed.
from Angels Make Their Hope Here (p. 62). Little, Brown and Company.
“You must pledge it or we will leave Russell’s Knob,” Dossie declared and captured his eyes levelly. “Dossie is no rabbit now, Duncan Smoot. She is Mother Bear and she will be her cub’s champion.” She started to chuckle with herself. She remembered! Was it a fancy tale or a prophecy? At their winter work, Hat had poked fun at her brother’s mysterious time away, saying that he slept with she-bears in wintertime all because long, long ago Duncan had gone into a bear den in dead of winter when it was so cold they could barely catch their breath in the biting wind. Duncan, against advice, had taken a torch into the bear den. They all knew Mother Bear was inside, had taken her children and gone to sleep. He came out a day later sayin’ that he’d slept with the bear and her cubs and that they’d hardly noticed him and it was very, very warm and smelled very, very pleasant. “Everybody knows Duncan is the bear’s fancy,” Hat would finish and giggle uncontrollably.
from Angels Make Their Hope Here (p. 274). Little, Brown and Company.
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December 26, 2015 to January 1, 2016