Mountain Men Series
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The Legend of Ol' Three Toes
Ol' Fuzzy now, is one of them ther mount'in men, what's used to huggin' a b'ar to death. So's one day, Ol' Fuzzy gits his skins on, puts his trusted Bowie knife in it Blackfoot knife sheath, an' go's huntin'.
Now Ol' Fuzzy, he ain't skeered a nuthin', so's he goes up the mountain side where's Ol" Three Toes, the biggest, meanest ol' grizz in big sky country, ever claimed as his huntin'ground. Now Ol'Three Toes jest happen to be nappin'. He's jest finished off two whole wapitii an' nuthin'was left, 'ceptin' the hooves an a couple o' ribs what Ol'Three Toes used to pick his teeth. O'l Fuzzy seed all this. Now if he hugs Ol' Three Toes, he's jest gonna be huggin' knees, so he decides he's gotta git hisself a better 'vantage point. so he looks around an' he sees this here tree with a limb what's stretched out so's to be the right height when Ol' Three Toes comes amblin' by. Ol' Fuzzy, he gits hisself up in that there tree, shinnies out on that tree limb, crouches with his Bowie 'tween his teeth, and waits.
Well, afore too long, Ol' Three Toes starts stirrin'. He knocks over this here big rock an it starts rollin' down the mount'in side and starts an avalanche. The nowise wakes Ol' Three Toes, an' he realizes he's so hungry he could 'et a b'ar. He goes over to them there hooves an' in an angry swipe, sends them hooves flyin' through the sky an onto the next mount'ain. Ol' Three Toes ain't in no joshin' mood. in fact, he's in a mood to KILL.
Ol' Fuzzy seed this, but he still ain't skeer'd. He's sittin' in thet thar tree, jest a waitin'. Soon Ol' Three Toes come his way under the tree, taken out bushes and small trees for fun. Ol' Fuzzy gits his self ready with thet Bowie knife 'tween his teeth an' as Ol' Three Toes gits just under neath him, Ol' Fuzzy JUMPS!!!
Well, three days later, Ol' Fuzzy wakes up, looks around an sees he's still alive. Well,if'n he's still alive, he must a got hisself a b'ar then. So's he looks around an' sure 'nuff, Ol' Three Toes is a layin' there. Ol' Fuzzy gits hisself up and looks hisself over. He don't find no scratches or nuthin'. So's he goes over to the b'ar an looks the b'ar over. Don't nuthin' look wrong with thet b'ar but here it is dead1 So's Ol' Fuzzy looks some more an finds a great big grin on thet tar b'ar's face.
Ol' Fuzzy figured probably nuthin' so funny as a big tough mount'in man landin' on his head, an thet thar b'ar jest laughted hisself to death. Ol' Fuzzy picked up his Bbowie an keeps it to this day as a reminder 'cause you see, Ol' Fuzzy's knife had a piece bit right out of it, when he landed on his head.
A young greenhorn and his dog took off to become a mountain man. He'd heard of the many wondrous sight; the majestic mountains, the painted desert, the call of the wild summoned him. He wanted to see with his own eyes and experience for himself the wonders of it all.
Now this greenhorn, packed up what things he thought he'd need. As he came along, he found that a lot of what he brought was not of much good when skill, cunning, and knowledge was the survival kills of the wild. But as he came along, he kept one thing- a book of his writings of what he saw, and it on account of that book of his scribblin's that I can tell you this story.
Now as he came along, it was late summer. food was easy to find, but at winter came upon him high in the Rockies, he found himself not prepared. He found himself makin' soup of any ol' bone he could find. When the rats found his cache of bacon drippings, the young greenhorn made some soup, and used the Rat's bones fer tooth picks. But as winter got on, food got scarcer, and the wind got fiercer. The young man had run out of everything. His clothing had become so tattered and torn that the wind chilled his bones. The young man became desperate in his fight for survival.
Late one night, he heard strange sounds in the wind. He listened intently with his ear to the door. Delirious with hunger, the young man left his cabin following the sound. At first, he thought it to be the roar of a lion echoing through out the canyon, but as he crew near, it was a strange site. Little people jumping around dancing and eating. They saw the young man and invited him to join them. He ravenously devoured the food until he drifted off to sleep.
Next morning, the greenhorn woke in his cabin. Refreshed and nourished from the night before, he remembered his dog. He went outside looking for the dog. There in the snow ere his footprints and beside them were his dog's foot prints. As he came around the rise, there in the snow was only a dog's ear- the remains of last night's feast.
When Lance first come out west, he's jest about like any other greenhorn and tenderfoot. Well, he had more to le'rn then most, but he had the stick-to-it like an old wolverine, and he ended up makin' a darn good trapper.
But when he first come out, he ran into Ol' Hawk and Two Eagle. Now this here seasoned mount'in men were two of the honeriest ol' cusses in these wharabouts. Now Lance is just a fresh faced kid, decided to make it on his own in the wilderness, and Ol' Hawk and Two Eagle decided to have some fun.
"So's you gonna be a mount'in man, You gonna trap them beaver, an skin out them thar varmits, huh? Well what you know about all this, youngin'" Ol' Hawk sed with his most sincere look.
"Well, Sir, can't say I know a lot, but I'm willin' to learn." replied the young man.
"Hm-m-m, "Ol' Hawk mused. You could see the twinkle in eye, and we all knewed some idear was a brewnin'. "Well you see, there's three things you gotta do if'n you gonna be a mount'in man. First you gotta git to the top of ol' Bear Tooth Mountain an bring back mount'in Goat, Then you gotta whip a Grizzly Bear, and then ya gotta make love to an injun woman. You do these three things and you'll be a mountain man shure thing."
Now Lance, like I sed, had a lot to le'rn. He's figurin' that Ol' Hawk is givin it to them straight. An' he sure nuff wants to be a mount'in man, so's poor kid loads up his gear and takes off. Soon, he comes back and he done been to the top of Ol' Bear Tooth Mount'ain. An' he's a wearin' that Mount'in goat. Then he took off after that Grizzly Bear. Ol' Hawk, figurin' the kid would back out soon as he saw that Ol' Grizz an head fer the city.
Days went by, an' Ol' Hawk's a beginnin' to get a might worried he sent that kid off to get hisself kilt. But by an' by that green horn kid came staggerin in to camp. He was a sight to see. He was all scratched up, his clothes near torn off'n him. But he had the biggest grin on his face. "Hey Ol' Hawk" sez he, "Now where's that Indian Woman you said I got to whip"!
One day, Ol' Bear Paw an' Bushwacker, (thets me), went huntin'. We's out to git us some meat, but as we's a crossin' a stream, Ol' Bear Paw went an slipt. He went down midst a screamin' and hollern' worsen' them Piegans on the war path!!
Bushwhacker stood there jawin' with a big grin, whilst Bear Paw shook out the leetle feeshes and retrieved his gun and powder. Well, now, with that wetpowder, Ol' Bear Paw ain't gonna do a whole lot of huntin' but then he couldn't let Bushwacker git the last word on this here trip neither. So Ol' Bear Paw gits his Ki-yotee hat on, so's ol' brother Ki-yotee'll help him git a wilely idear.
Not fer away, a big ol' moose is drinkin' from a crik. Bear Paw sees this an' he gits that wiley idear. He gits hisself up an pulls out his knife an' he goes over to a tree an' goes about cuttin' out a Y out of that there tree. Then he takes some fringe an ties it to this here sling shot he's done made.
Now this here moose is in trouble. but he don't know it none. Bear Paw goes sneakin' through the bushes an' thet moose, he raises his head an' looks around, but he don't see nuttin' so he goes back to drinkin' outa thet stream. An' Ol' Bear Paw, he goes sneakin' through the bushes, an' thet thar moose, he raises his head an' looks around. But he don't see nuttin' agin, so he just goes back to drinkin'. Ol' Bear Paw goes sneakin' through the woods an he's a gittin' closer to thet ol' moose. Thet moose, he raises his head agin, and looks around, but he jest don't see nuttin, so he goes back to drinkin' from that leetle ol' crik.
By now, ol' Bear Paw, hes a gittin' mighty close. Now Ol' Bear Paw sneaks right up behind thet ol' moose, a thinkin' of moose steaks all the while. Ol' Bear Paw, he pulls back on hs sling shot an he lets this leetle rock go flyin' through the air.
Now if I hadn't seed it wit' my own eyes, I wouldn't a believed it, but that there leetle rock hit thet big ol' moose in the rump. K-A-Thump!! That big ol' moose, he's so suprized, he done sucked up thet stream and' drownded!!!!.
Two Dogs come up over the ridge. Him an his two dogs had treck quite a ways. Each dog was outfitted with its own travois an bundles o' hides. Two Dogs, hisself, had a pack biggern both dogs put together. Two Dogs didn't own a Hoss. Sed they weren't too smart. None too dependable either sez he. so he did all his travelin' with those two dogs.Couple a yars ago, Two Dog met up with a mountin' lion. His two dogs rushed right in. At First the cat just clawed at the packs on the backs of them dogs, but after awhile, that cat got one of Two Dogs' dogs. Later thet spring he found a wolf whelp, an had two dogs ever since.
Guess his dislike for hosses happened a few winters back when Two Dogs was a trappin' up North. The winters were hard but the furs were prime. Come close to spring, they had more furs then they could carry. Two Dogs made a trip over the ridge an borried five hosses from ol' Crowfoot, his Injun friend. That gave Two Dogs eight hosses and that still weren't 'nuff. 'Bout that time, Ol' Catfish come a whistlin' by on his way to trade his hides. He still had two hosses trailin' him with no pack. Two Dogs loaded up the bundles of hides and he an' Catfish were off.
Was one of them winters, when the wind blew and the snow just kept comin' down. As Two Dogs and Catfish are a goin' along, they didn't recongnize a whole lot. Was late summer when last they come this way. an as they trecked across the snow, they didn't remember such short trees in this part of the woods. Course now, they's leavin' for the tradin' post a might early this y'ar on account of the trappin' bein' so good, but somehows the landmarks- they seemed different.
One night, Two Dogs and Catfish went to make camp. They's sittin' pretty high on ridge whar's youse could see forever. They tied their pack animals to the trees, settled down for the night. That night the wind did howl and blew tearin' at the little camp. The two trappers rolled up tighter in ther hides, and muffled out the noise.
Next mornin', Two Dogs an' Catfish woke up to the neighin' of their hosses. Two Dogs an' Catfish sprung to their feet but to their amazement, they was standin' in the middle of a forest with trees stretchin' to the sky. Those horses were a whinyin' but sounded so far away. Two Dogs an' Catfish, they hunted half that mornin' lookin for them horses what they could hear but couldn't seed anywheres. Then Two Dogs , he looked up in those trees, and noticed somethin' swaying in the sky. Sure enough was them hosses tied to the top of them trees. Chinook come up from the south that night and done melted all the snow. Shur nuff!!
The Big Snow
Did I ever tell ya about the time Ol' Whiskey Whiskers an' me took some supplies up to ol' Fort Waisichu? We's workin' fer the Company back in them days. they had some supplies they was wantin' to git up to the fort. So Ol' Whiskey Whiskers an' me, we said we was a goin' thet way an we just might goes out of our ways a leetle to git them supplies up thar ifn' the price was right. Well, theys garanteed us a couple of new rifes, Them new fangled ones, what takes bullets instead of powder. Well, now no man worth his salt is ever gonna turn down a good huntin' rifle so we sed we'd do it.
Well, we headed up the river with four mules and our own pack horses lowaded with what wees thought food for the Fort. Our own hosses loaded down with our own supplies fer the winter and them four mules, tied up with boxes, and sacks and a few blankets meant for the Fort.
Now let me tell you somethin' about mules. They's the 'onriest, cussinus animals God done put on this here earth. When youse all want to go up, theys want to go down. Ifn' youse want to go forward they's wantin' to go backwards. So's Ol' Whiskey Whiskers an me had the darndest time with them thar animals, an the goin' was slow.
We's finally git up by the Divide. Wees had one them days when the mules was ther muliest. Ol' Whiskey Whiskers and me is dead tired. Ol' Wiskey Whiskers an me. wees pull out a leetle whiskey figurin' we deserved a leetle re-ward for puttin' with them animals. While wees a re-warden ourselves, wees a unpacken them animals. Ol' Whiskey Whiskers, he puts the sacks next to the fire, and goes about sittin' the boxes about. An him and me, wees a re-warden ourselves all the time. Finally all the unpackin is done an wees re-warde ourselves half the nigh t a sittin on them sacks.
Well come mornin' wees a openin' groggy eyes, an as fer as we can see, its white. We can see the hosses and them mules stiff an frozen. Well wees figurin' wees tied on our re-ward a bit moren' we thought. We got to wonderin' just how long we was a re-warden.Then Ol' Whiskey Whiskers, he noticed somethin' strange. Why weren't no snow at all--was popcorn fer as we could see. Them animals must a froze stiff with fright at all thet poppin' we done slept through.
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