Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: OVERLOAD (10/06/16)
- TITLE: Dad’s Best Friend (the Polar Bear Story)
By M. C. Syben
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â€śWell, before you were born, I worked at the bottom of the world with other men. Since our arctic food supplies had dwindled, I declared, â€śIâ€™m going fishing.â€ť
Everyone laughed. â€śHow are you going to fish in the frozen lake, Henry?â€ť The cook asked.
So, I told him. â€śIâ€™ll make a hole with a pick and chain saw, Chef. You can expect fish for dinner.â€ť
â€śBut no one believed me, son.â€ť
I wore boots and a parka and slung a powerful rifle across my back. My armpit clamped down on the fishing rod as I carried the equipment. With snow shoes on, it was an easy walk. The icy pond glistened like a mirror. I knew fish beneath it would bite my hook.
First, I chipped out a hole with my pick. Then, I sawed around the opening so big fish could fit through. â€śAh, you know how I love to catch huge ones, son.â€ť
I was careful and kept my rifle close for any dangerous bears or wolves. But, I was excited to drop down my special lure. When I did, bam! Something hit right away. I set the hook and reeled in an angry, flopping fish.
â€śIt was big as a toilet seat, son.â€ť
Then I realized that I forgot a container to store my catch. So, I threw the fish by a snow bank and got back to work. Boom! Another one latched on. I knew it would be a good fishing day.
I piled up over a hundred fish when, suddenly, I felt I wasnâ€™t alone. You see, a polar bear had sniffed the air and found my fish heap. He had eaten most of them when I wasnâ€™t looking. Thank goodness, the overload of fish he ate burped out, long and loud.
I spun around. â€śHey, thatâ€™s my fish,â€ť I screamed.
The white bear roared and stood up on his hind feet.
I lunged for my rifle but slipped on the ice. Next thing I knew, I fell into the frigid water.
â€śOh, it felt like knives piercing my skin, son.â€ť
When I surfaced, the bear had fallen on his back. I heard the bear laughing as I tried to pull myself out of the abyss like an old seal.
I pulled up to the top of the ice and grabbed my rifle. â€śYou can stop hooting and hollering, Bear.â€ť
Caught by surprise, he struggled to stand, with his bloated stomach.
â€śGive me your coat,â€ť I said.
â€śDonâ€™t shoot,â€ť he cried. He unzipped his fur from around his neck and threw it to me. I quickly warmed inside it. But, the poor bearâ€™s pink bulging belly showed the biggest goose bumps I ever saw.
Then I told him, â€śI need your pants, too.â€ť
â€śIâ€™ll be naked,â€ť the Polar bear hollered.
â€śJust until I change out of my wet clothes; Iâ€™ll give them back,â€ť I said.
He stared at my rifle, while he dropped his trousers, kicking them over to me. I stepped inside the giant, warm pants relieved I wouldnâ€™t freeze to death.
â€śNow move away from my fish,â€ť I told him. â€śYou hogged enough.â€ť
Humiliated, the naked bear trembled with every footstep. I filled my new coat with the remaining fish, and tucked it inside the pants.
Then I said, â€śBest if you walk ahead of me, Bear. No funny stuff,â€ť I told him. â€śBy the way, Iâ€™m Henry.â€ť
â€śIâ€™m Pol,â€ť the bear said.
Pol followed my tracks back to camp. Everyone watched as the embarrassed bear appeared.
â€śLook at the bare bear!â€ť They hollered. â€śHenry is right behind wearing his fur!â€ť
I jumped inside and left Pol to shiver outside. But, I kept my word, and returned his fur quickly.
â€śDonâ€™t ever steal from me again,â€ť I warned him while he jumped back into his fur.
But, I left two fish in his pockets. When Pol sniffed them, he said, â€śSince you shared your fish, we can be friends.â€ť
From then on, my friend, Pol, watched out for wolves and thieving bears, protecting me as I fished. Always, we split the catch equally.
The agreement worked great until the men complained. â€śHenry, enough already. Weâ€™re tired of fish.â€ť
I laughed as Pol patted his bulging belly. â€śWhat?â€ť he said. â€śI can never have too much fish!â€ť
â€śI agree,â€ť I said. â€śLetâ€™s go fishing.â€ť
Thatâ€™s how I became best friends with a polar bear.
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