Pop, Dave, and I were standing on the porch of the cabin at Snowbird, in the mountains of North Carolina close to the Tennessee border, when two fellows in their early 20’s came out of the woods into a clearing below the cabin. They were carrying rifles, they had pistols and knives strapped to their belts, and they had dogs. They were hunting.
They stopped, we greeted each other, and then my brothers and I walk down there to talk. Or rather, Pop talked. Dave and I mostly kept our mouths shut and listened. Pop had a way about him that mountain men liked. I think they knew he was one of them, just from a different neck of the woods.
“How often do you boys hunt?” Pop asked.
And one of them said, “Every day during boar and bear season,” which runs about three months.
Pop was surprised because he could see one of them was wearing a wedding band and he said, “You’re married.”
“Not but nine months a year,” the man replied.
They got to talking about bears that get tired of running and turn on dogs tracking them, killing one sometimes. That’s when one of the hunters pulled his shirt half way up so we could see his side and said, “That’s what a bear done to me.”
The scar across the side of his belly was awful, a terrible, jagged looking thing.
And then the other hunter spoke up.
“He’s lying to you,” the other man said. “That won’t no bear, that was a chain saw.”
Coming Monday: Hiding In A Privy