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Fight With A Bear

James McIntyre 1828 (Forres) – 1906



The following appeared in Truth in the form of a prose tale of
considerable length. We have concentrated the essence
thereof into the few verses below. It is a tale of the
Canadian North-West, during the times of the Hudson
Bay Company's rule.

Two youths, employed at the fur fort,
Resolved to have half-day of sport ;
From Jasper House, in the far north,
For game, they joyous issued forth.
The factor of the Hudson Bay
Granted them a few hours' play,
And it was in cold winter time,
When thick on lake was glassy rime ;
But beneath, o'er all their route,
They saw below big speckled trout.
With hatchet, ice they did clear
And the beauteous trout did spear,

For they were longing for a dish
Of this sweet and savory fish,
And they caught many, too, with bait,
For in the day it was not late,
But it was cloudy with snow storm ;
Yet they saw the noble form,
While the hurricane did blow,
Of a fine, noble buffalo,
So they resolved to have a treat
Of the delicious buffalo meat ;
But he did on his haunches rear-
To their surprise it was a bear.

The lake being smooth, the youths did skate,
Resolved for to seal his fate;
A pistol shot made bruin roar,
And from him trickled drops of gore.
They round him skate, and fresh blood drew
When they at him the hatchet threw ;

He chased one and then the other,
For men on skates did him bother.
But the bold Scottish lad, McBeath,
Alas ! he nearly met his death,
When he so boldly did press near
To probe him with the sharp fish spear,

For with fell swoop the paws of bruin
To him they almost did bring ruin ;
But he so dexterously did skate
That he escaped such horrid fate.
And now they skated back to fort
For aid for to renew the sport,
They knew their game was no trifle
So they secured a trusty rifle.
Returning he had fled to wood,
But they tracked him with his blood,
For they did not yet despair
But that they would capture bear.

They saw the elder bushes sway
While he did force through them his way,
And heard the brushwood loudly snap,
Where he went through he left a gap.
They skated swiftly o 'er the ice
And were near brushwood in a trice ;
Full soon the savage beast is slain,
With rifle bullet in his brain.
And now these hunters do take pride
In skin as large as buffalo hide,
For Indian stripped the skin of bear
And left the carcass in his lair.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:13 min read
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James McIntyre

James McIntyre, minstrel performer, vaudeville and theatrical actor, and a partner in the famous blackface tramp comedy duo act McIntyre and Heath. more…

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