“You’ve got to come see what the dogs were chewing on back across from the fire pit. I don’t know what kind of animal it could be but there’s part of the backbone and it’s human-sized at least.”
I harrumphed, familiar with the way new sightings can take on larger-than-life dimensions here in the outback of Floyd County. I said I’d take a look at it eventually.
“No! If we don’t go soon other animals could drag it off.”
She was right. And her description did make me suspicious that I’d find what I did indeed find, skull still connected to a half-dozen uneaten vertebrae: the skull of an adult black bear. Impressive canines, Past Beast.
It remains high in the crotch of a tree along Nameless Creek where the dogs can’t reach it. I will fetch it home and secure it in a high dry place where the sun and various carrion beetles can continue their defleshing, and in about six months it will find a place on or near my desk–a symbol of life in this valley–and death. And so it goes.
Alas, poor Yorik.