Know It By: John Miller


Know It
By: John Miller

“The truth of the matter is you cannot understand it, but you must know it!”

Hal watched his mentor as he spoke. The shaman’s whiskers were sparse but long. Close cropped gray hair flowed into equal length of his whiskers, and the red flannel’s sleeves were folded up revealing muscular forearms from years of chopping wood in the Canadian wilderness. The familiar circular impression in Sean’s flannel shirt pocket came from the can of Skoal he always kept tucked inside, just in case he needed a dip.

“If you bring it into analytical understanding, it will lose its power over you, Hal,” Sean told him in his gruff voice. “The Dreaming is meant to be known, but it can never be understood. It flows, like all dreams, from the source.”

“And the source?” Hal asked. He sat perched upon the small boulder on top of the hill. The hill was more of a miniature mountain, but compared to the upper portion of the nearby Rocky Mountains, it was considered a hill. Looking down he saw a Kodiak bear playing with its two cubs. Both student and mentor had been watching the animals off and on during their conversation.

“The source is Mother Earth,” Sean replied and smacked Hal’s head roughly. Hal had gotten used to Sean’s abrupt behavior. Sometimes Sean seemed so compassionate and loving, and other times he was very cruel and demanding. “Or call it the River, or the Cosmic All. Call it the Dionysian Flux. Hell! Call it shit, for all I care!”

The she-bear below stopped abruptly and stood on its hind legs sniffing the air. It opened its maul and made a sound Hal couldn’t hear. The she-bear was far enough away to appear the size of a rabbit, but Hal knew it would tear him into shreds if he ventured too close to its cubs. The cubs heard their mother and followed her as she scampered off into the thick briars and brush. A minute later a hunter appeared toting a rifle.

Hal sensed Sean’s anger. Sean had the ability to fill his presence with anger, and he did it subconsciously. It raked Hal’s nerves and he stood in agitation.

“Damned hunter!” Sean muttered. “Doesn’t he know this is my land? My mountain?”

“What are you going to do?” Hal asked, afraid for the hunter.

“Why are you afraid for the hunter?” Sean demanded while turning his attention upon his student. “Is he following the Dreaming? Is he flowing with the River? What? You think paying thousands of dollars to a pilot to be dropped off in this wilderness just to kill a bear is Dreaming?” Sean took out his Skoal and pinched a dip, pressing it between his cheek and teeth. “Damned hunter paid money made in America probably, money from a job at some godforsaken corporation that’s helping rape the planet, and he’s not satisfied so he comes up here to rape Mother Earth some more!”

Sean spit brown fluid into the grass. Hal shuddered. Didn’t Sean realize the brown tobacco he just spat isn’t helping the earth any, either?

“The hunter is alone; he can’t carry off what he kills other than the hide or head,” Sean continues. “It’s time the hunter discovered what it’s like to be hunted.”

“What are…”

“Sit down!” Sean ordered his student interrupting him. “I’m going to go within… dream a little dream… and let it waft on the downwind into the valley below… just a little…” Sean’s eyes closed and his face slackened. “…dream…”

Hal felt his hackles rise on gooseflesh crawling up his skin and although he wore a heavy coat he felt suddenly chilled. A cub darted out of the briars and the she-bear charged out after it. Hal imagined the sound the mother must be making. He saw the hunter raise his rifle and take aim. Hal waited for the crack of the rifle shot, but nothing happened. That was when the she-bear changed its course from chasing her errant cub to charging the hunter. The hunter faltered, checked his rifle and then raised it again. Nothing happened! The hunter turned to run but the she-bear bowled him over, sending the hunter flying through the air. Sean let out a whoop of joy and Hal felt nauseous. The big Kodiak bear turned to maul the hunter. Sean watched while Hal turned away.

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About the Author

-John Miller

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Copyright © 2007 The World of Myth All Rights Reserved

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