I spend the summers up high in the mountains where it’s cool. I spend most of my time with the bighorn sheep. The rams like to fight on perilous cliffs; I enjoy wrestling with them till they bleat in surrender then I let them go, good fun. At night they huddle together and I try to lay down among them but always they keep a small distance away. The mountain sheep are ungrateful. They are ungrateful even though I have saved them from big cats more times than I can count. Too often I see a cat stalking towards them and chuck it off the edge screeching, or get them with a rock till they look like smashed berries, and yes I enjoy it, but they clearly benefit don’t they? Do those bleating idiots thank me? No. they just stare off into the distance nibbling on roots and mountain weeds. Sometimes I think of punting them all into the ravine below but I would miss them and their stupid faces, so I sit and nibble roots with them and we stare at the mountains for whatever reason.
At night I hear wolves howling, the prettiest sound. This night I try to howl with them. When they hear me, they stop. I try to tell them don’t stop, but there is nothing now—only the wind. Frustrated, I grab one of the sheep to lay my head on; it bleats in protest before giving up. I look to the stars until I am asleep.
At daybreak I go down the mountain to get something good to munch. I go to the river to snatch some salmon but there is the brown bear that always wants to tussle with me over the best spot for fish. We wrestle for an hour; though the truth is I prolong it for my amusement, before I throw the bear into the current. The bear goes off roaring into the distance. Sorry buddy, looks like its berries and roots for you.
After I have feasted on many fish, I head back up the mountain. As I climb the mountain I think about the bear, who is not as strong or as fast as it used to be. This concerns me for some reason. Maybe I will let it win next time. Strange thing to be thinking.
While going on my way, I run into an elk with its leg in a man trap. It kicks and whines like crazy. I walk up, and even though the elk tries to kick me, I grab the man trap by the teeth and pry it open. The elk leaps away awkwardly into the distance. Not so much as a thank you or anything. Fine.
I take the man trap to my cave and add it to the collection where I keep my shiny bottles and cameras and man bones. (Not my doing, the bones, but I keep them anyhow.) It’s too hot to linger in the cave though, and I head back up the mountain brushing myself with a prized man comb.
The rams are at it again. This time my heart is not into it, so I just watch while brushing myself. When night falls and the sheep lay down, I hear the wolves howling. I want to howl too, but I know it will just silence them so I just listen. I just listen, and it is humiliating because I know the sheep hear me weeping. The wolves are howling and I am just weeping.