I figured that if I fashioned a snare at the end of a hockey stick, I could get close enough to snare the bone.
I found an old hunting jacket that was perfect for cover. For insurance, I rubbed old wood soot into my face and hands.
I walked past Jack like I couldn’t care either way if he had the bone or not. I even snubbed my nose at him for effect. When I was out of sight, I dropped to my stomach and started crawling toward him. My daughter, Juniper, and her little friend came bounding down the trail towards their fort which was off in the bush. They stopped dead in their tracks when they noticed me. I motioned with my finger over my mouth for them to be super-duper quiet. They sat on the ground and giggled silently. Between shushing the girls and trying not to be detected by Jack, it took me a good 15 minutes to get within striking distance. I was so close I could hear him slobbering over the bone. I ever so slowly positioned my snare about six inches from the bone, and when Jack turned to see what the motion was, I snared it and jumped up in victory.
The girls clapped. “What are you gonna do with it?” Juniper asked.
“Eat it,” I said triumphantly.
“Gross,” she said. Then they skipped away towards their fort.
I instructed my son Hayden to put Jack in the house and not let him out, then sawed the bone into six-inch pieces and threw them in a pot of boiling water on top of my woodstove. I made a batch of frying pan bannock and boiled up a good pot of tea. If you’ve never eaten hot bannock and marrow, you haven’t lived a life worth talking about.
I took the bones out when they were cooked and blew the marrow out onto a plate. I broke off a piece of hot bannock and gobbed a spoonful of marrow on top. I actually had my mouth open when Hayden called from the house.
“Dad, you got a phone call”
“It’s CBC. They want to hear your story about the grizzly bear.” Now, for a guy like me who’s in showbiz, you gotta take advantage of these opportunities. So I put down my food and set it on the table and went in to give a very detailed account of our grizzly encounter. I took a few more minutes to, as us storytellers say, to “put a little salt on it,” embellish the story if you like. After some hearty laughs on both ends, I bid the host farewell and headed back outside to my waiting meal.
“Why’s the door open?” I asked Hayden.
“Jack had to pee.”
I dashed out the door. Jack was halfway out the tent with a mouthful of bannock and snout-full of marrow grease when he saw me. He beelined it for the bush with me hot on his tail. Long story short, Jack got his revenge on me and I learned a very useful lesson; never steal a bone from a dog.