BY BARBARA HANULIK, Dawson City
It takes all kinds of people to make up the Yukon – the young and the old, the educated and uneducated, the Cheechako and the Sourdough – men, women and children from all walks of life.
I’ve observed Yukon life for many years, but long ago I was a green Cheechako, living outside of Dawson City in the bush. I was sure I had the best of all worlds and I thought the outdoor life was not only educational, but interesting and entertaining.
My new husband taught me how to shoot by lining up bottles on a stump down by the creek. I managed to hit one of them and decided I was a real frontier woman.
Not long after that, while my husband was busy elsewhere, I saw a black bear poking his nose out of the bushes across the road. I ran for the .22 because I was determined to kill him. As he sauntered down the opposite side of the gravel road, I took careful aim and shot … and missed.
At that moment, my husband appeared from his work and, scowling, took the gun from my hands.
“I shot the bear,” I gleefully remarked.
“You never, NEVER, NEVER, shoot ACROSS a road,” my angry husband said. “Traffic might be coming.” He was disgusted.
“And besides, that was no bear. That was a porcupine.”
I haven’t gone near a firearm since.
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