Caprice followed with him yelling at her, “Stay back!”
With enough light to see what was happening, they saw a grizzly bear drinking water from the lake. Pharaoh was making a racket to sound the alarm that a predator was close by. Sugar Plum took off like a shot in panic until she was out of sight behind the cabin. Cassidy, afraid for his horse, raised his rifle, intending to shoot off a round to scare the bear. When he realized the shot might rain down on his prized horse, he ran over past the other side of the cabin to try to get a safer shot off.
The bear caught the movement and must have considered Cassidy’s abrupt moves as aggressive, for he spun around and charged. Even though the bear was thin and looked as though he’d been half starved, he was still a formidable wild beast and a great danger to anyone. The summer so far had been hot and dry, so the berries had withered as they ripened. The salmon runs were late because the rivers and streams were too warm. So the salmon waited in the cooler depths of the ocean, waiting to feel the change in temperature before continuing their journey.
The realization of the impending danger crossed Cassidy’s face as the bear charged. He raised the rifle, aiming at his attacker—a shot rang out. He’d hit his target, but six inches off. He’d hit him in the upper shoulder, which only slowed the bear long enough to feel anger and fury at the sudden sting. He continued his enraged charge.
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