Woke up this morning to see Nick shivering by the fire, two layers of furs wrapped around him. I got up and walked over to the fire, warming my hands. "Whats wrong with you? You not feeling good or something?" He looked up at me, teeth chattering, "C-c-cold...F-f-f-freezing out here!" I grinned. "Yeah, it's a little chilly. Those tropical islands are murder when you come back to....Where's Winter Hawk?" I ask, realizing he is not at the camp site. "W-who?!?" asked Nick through chattering teeth. "Jesse" I said. "H-he...L-l-left earlier...S-s-said something like 'click, whistle, click, cheek flip'". "Oh, okay. He is checking his traps" I add. Nick just looks up at me with a You've-got-to-be-kidding-me look. "What?" I ask, looking at him and shrugging.
Before long, Winter Hawk walks back into the camp, a couple of Beavers strung over his shoulder. He stabs his spear down into the ground beside the fire. Where did he get feathers to put around the tip of his spear and in his hair?!? He looks over at Nick as he throws the Beavers beside him at the fire.
"Whistle, click, click" He says, pointing at the Beavers as he looks at Nick.
"W-w-what's he want?" Nick asks.
"He is telling you to clean them." I reply.
He starts laughing now. "Hahaha. Really? Hahahaha."
Winter Hawk narrows his eyes and clicks more slowly, "Whistle....click....click."
Nick stands up now. "I don't think so, Little Indian Brave. What's your name anyway, Running poodle? Carrier of Purses? Pink Flamingo?"
Winter Hawk cocks his head to the side, staring at Nick in silence a moment, then starts to laugh loudly, pointing at Nick. Raising an eyebrow in question, Nick shakes his head and turns towards the fire. Without warning, Winter Hawk yells out a war cry and jumps on Nick's back. I stand at the fire now, watching. I would say I didn't see that coming, but I would be lying. As they hit the ground, rolling around, punching and kicking, I roll my eyes and sigh heavily.
Winter Hawk whips his knife out of his waistband, grabbing what he can of Nick's hair with his free hand. He laughs maniacally now as he pushes the blade towards Nick's head, as Nick holds him off the best he can. "HE'S TRYING TO SCALP ME!!!!"
I walk over and pull the knife out of Winter Hawks hand and he quickly turns and stares at me with a startled look. He stands up now, releasing Nick.
"Click, click, click!' he says loudly.
"No, you can't have the knife back! You don't scalp your brother!"
Jesse looks down at him for a moment, "Whistle, lip pop, click."
"Yes he is your brother!! Now stop acting crazy!!"
Winter Hawk draws a long breath and looks back over at me, still upset. "Click" he says, holding his hand out and looking up at the sky, drumming his fingers on his hip with his other hand. "You can have it back as long as you don't try that again" I state firmly. He rolls his eyes now, still looking upward. "Click!". I hand him the knife, which he puts back in his waistband as he grumbles to himself.
I have Nick start cooking some meat and I start skinning the Beavers. After hanging the pelts up to dry next to the fire and cutting the meat, we eat and stay close around the fire. That was when Winter Hawk looks up, a look of excitement suddenly on his face.
"Click, click, whistle, growl, click, whistle."
"No! We do not need to show Nick where the Badger lives."
"Whistle, click, foot stomp, growl, whistle, click!"
"He doesn't need to know about the Badger!!"
Winter Hawk stands up and pulls his spear from the ground where he has stuck it earlier, motioning for Nick to follow him. I stand up now, and finally put my foot down.
"NO! NO! NO! WE ARE NOT GOING TO SHOW NICK THE BADGER! NO...WE...ARE...NOT!!!"
Winter Hawk stops in his tracks and turns, looking back at me. "Whistle, click, lip pop"
"I AM NOT SCARED!!!...I just think it is better not to worry about something...That isn't important...Yeah...Isn't important!"
He grins now and looks at Nick "Whistle, click, lip pop."
Nick nods, "He does sound scared, doesn't he."
.......Later, as we make our way through the woods to show Nick the badger, I let Winter Hawk lead the trail and I let Nick follow behind me. I figure if the badger jumps us, he is bound to get one of them first, thus, giving me the time I need to escape.
We come to the pit we had dug some days ago, and Winter Hawk goes into the story of what had occurred with a torrent of clicks, whistles and other gestures as he acts out the story in front of us. Soon, Jesse walks over to the hole, to show where I had been standing that day, and that is when it happens...
Nick runs up and pushes him from behind, and he nearly loses his balance and falls into the hole. Winter Hawk turns around fast, eyes flash angrily as he looks at Nick.
"CLICK, CLICK, WHISTLE, CLICK, CLICK!!!" he yells.
"You tried to scalp me this morning! You had it coming, Pink Feather!" Nick retorts.
Winter Hawk stops, his face goes expressionless a moment before he raises an eyebrow and grins, "Oh, click?"...And then he attacks.
For the second time today, they are locked in battle, punching and kicking, pulling, biting, and doing things to each other so heinous, I cannot write about it here for it bears far more brutality than any two persons should ever inflict upon one another.
That was when the growl came out of brush near us.
I spin around quickly, point my spear in the direction of the sound. I look back to tell the other two to stop fighting and they are gone. I mean, vanished, missing...just...Gone.
I hear rustling above me and look up, and both are sitting on a tree branch together, and both are looking down at me now.
"Oh nice!! Would you like some popcorn?!?!"
Well, this was it, and I had had it! The Badger was NOT going to get the best of me this time. I grip my spear, hands shaking, and turn to the brush, moving forward slowly now as the brush moves a little and rattles slightly.
"Come on out, Badger! I'm not running from you this time!!"
Even as I heard the sound of the words leave me lips, I thought it couldn't have been me that said it. Suddenly, from the brush, rose the biggest and meanest looking grizzly bear I have ever seen...This being my first time actually seeing a grizzly bear being besides the point. I also had not realized grizzlies were in this area of the country, either, much like the beavers, but here he was.
As he towered above me, he let out a long, deep growl and I felt the furs I was wearing blow back from his breath. I think at that point the furs may have also become slightly wetter as well, but that was from fear, not the bear.
"OH SNAP!!!' and "CLICK CLICK!!!" is all I heard in unison from above me in the tree.
I really can't recall much after the growl...I must have just passed out from fear, but the story goes, according to Nick and Winter Hawk...
I fell to the ground and lay there. The bear dropped to all fours, walked out of the brush he had been standing in, and sniffed me a few times. After a short time of the bear enjoying batting me around with his paws, it picked me up in its mouth and shook me, tossing me around. I would fly from one side of the clearing to the other, where the bear would run, pick me up and do it again. After a few more tosses, and its last throw of the day, it came running over to pick me up again, and not seeing the hole, fell into the pit we had dug last week.
Nick said Winter Hawk whooped and hollered as he jumped from the tree branch, spear in hand, ready for battle. His timing was impeccable.
All I can say is this..It was very nice waking up under a very warm bear skin blanket, especially since the loss of blood and the amount of broken bones, caused by being a chew toy, left me in extreme pain, weak and cold. I looked beside my head and saw the make-shift sewing kit Winter Hawk had used on me before. Did I really want to know what else had been tore from my body that Winter Hawk had sewed back on, probably in the wrong place or upside down? No, not really.
I just lay there, looking at the fire as Winter Hawk and Nick, who I found out later had been named Crazy Elk by Winter Hawk, danced around the flames with Chancey and Petey dancing around with them. Where had they been?!? Why hadn't Chancey came running like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin and saved me from the Bear?!?...Stupid dogs.
Was Nick...I mean Crazy Elk, wearing feather now?!?