A Life or Death Battle

A Life or Death Battle

The long black-haired bear rug on my grandparents’ bedroom floor was one of the first childhood giveaways of my grandfather’s prowess. However, my tedious and seemingly impossible job at that present moment was to take an afternoon nap…the last thing my energized body wanted to do. I wanted freedom and independence, not a nap. It after all was the 4th of July.

In my semi-dream state, my grandfather’s job had been to wrestle the vicious owner of that hairy pelt to the ground, and eventually shoot it with the .22 caliber rifle sitting over in the corner. In my lingering nap-time stupor, the old .22 kept yelling for attention and acclaim…”I did it, I did it”.

The next afternoon, I found myself in the very same objectionably prone position. Once again I began fantasizing about the coarse bear rug next to the bed. Using all the stealth-like caution within me; this time I quietly slid off the bed and cautiously landed on the back of the great wild creature. The attack began as soon as the monster felt the weight of my scrawny body. He snarled and hissed. He first grabbed for my ankle with those saber-like teeth, and then my forearm. Throughout the attack, the monster showed me no mercy. Nary did I see as much as even a blink from the ferocious bear’s coal-black glass eyes.

As a point of counter-attack, I grabbed the long coarse hair and shrouded myself within it. I began rolling over and over on the floor, softly groaning and screaming…so as not to alert my watchful grandparents in the adjacent living room.

Finally, I began to gain some advantage over the wild beast, when I decided to savagely plunge even deeper into his core. Surely I must have been re-enacting a feat similar to that of my hero grandfather, years ago when he too was fighting this very monster for his own life. With the greatest effort, I plunged my puny fist to the underside of the rug and up towards his heart. Reaching with all my might, at the bear’s most vulnerable spot, my tiny fingers latched onto something. In curiosity, I immediately stopped the fight and flipped the rug over. It was then that I discovered I was actually holding on to a small piece of paper, a tag of some sort…$49. 50.

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