Page 18 - Bill Daye: Stories for Susie
ISSUE : Issue 32
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/8/1
claws right into his back, and drove him right clean across the floor against the wall on the other side. There were terri? ble big gashes on his back, and we thought it was the devil. But I said, "That's a lesson for me, Frank." It was just our luck that we didn't go in the wrong door-- this story would never have been told. I used to love to take long walks for miles through the wo6ds on the snowshoes in the winter, alone and observing every? thing. This day I was going out in the morning. I could hear a small dog--the voice sounded like a small dog, barking, barking, barking, quite a piece from where I was travelling. I said, "Now that's a little dog that's got a squirrel up in a tree." So I paid no attention to it. It was coming on evening. I said, "It's time now to start to go home." When I passed back in the same vicinity, that little dog was still barking there. Well, I thought to myself, that dog is caught in a snare or something--he wouldn't be there all this time. So I made my way over. There were no tracks going to where he was. And when I got there kind of close, the dog stopped barking. There was about 3 inches or 4 inches of snow on the ground--just enough for snow- shoes--and there was a glaze of ice on top of it, a sheet of ice, where the big snow- shoe track wouldn't crash through. And when I got there, there was a great big beautiful buck laying down. He had shed his homs--it was late in the winter. He was laying down, he could not get up. His poor ankles were cut right clean through the hair and the hide almost to the bone, and the blood was all over the snow from his feet. His feet were so sore that he couldn't walk any more. He had the winter hair on his back. When the winter hair is on them, each hair is like a bobby pin-- one laps into the other, and the hair is long, to keep the water and cold out. The little dog would jump in, grab a mouth? ful of hair, and spit it out. How long he had chased that deer, I do not know. There was a ring of hair around that deer from his neck right straight around him on the snow, about 4 feet out from the deer all a- round. A big ring of hair. And the deer was picked to pieces, with the hair pulled out everywheres, and he could not get up. Well, I looked at him. He was still alive. I stood by him. I petted his head and I talked to him. I said, "Now, my god, I can't stay with this deer all the time, what am I going to do?" So I waited till dark. The little dog never returned. So the deer got up and he stood by me. He had no fear of me. He seemed to understand that the dog left because I was there, and I had protected him. So he slowly walked a- way, and I took off for home. Another time, I and Star MacLeod were hunt? ing back of Brown's Lake. We had got a beautiful monster of a buck. It was quite a piece from the car. We could not drag him, we could not lift him. So I said, "The only thing to do, Star--I will go o- ver to Lingan Road and borrow a fellow's horse." He had an old white horse. When I got over there, the man was just after com? ing home--he was using the horse--and I told him what I wanted to do with the horse. And he said, "You'd better leave the harness on." Now there was a collar and a hames on that harness. So, okay. We came back to the lake with the horse. Now a MacLennan had his fence run out into the lake about 30 feet to keep his cows from getting out of the pasture--they would never go out a- round this fence. But I took the horse out around that fence to go where the deer was. Everything went fine. We tied the deer on? to the traces of the horse. We made back to the lake. Now to get around the fence, I had to put the deer on the horse's back. And the horns were stuck underneath the hames and the collar. I did not know this horse was blind in one eye. Going over, he could see the farm, and he kept along the shore with me. But when he got in the wa? ter to go around the fence, what he saw with the good eye was the other side of the lake. He started to swim across. Star was sitting on the grass playing with a young crippled crow that he had picked up. And I said, "Star, my god, come and give us a hand, we're going to lose the horse-- he's going across the lake." He was laughing and joking. He said, "You borrowed him," he said, "you pay for him if you can't catch him." I had to swim out in the lake with my hunt? ing knife, cut some of the straps that held the deer's horns underneath the hames. And the horse was splashing with his front feet, trying to swim. The deer had started to float, but the collar was pulled cross-
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