It was the first bear trap that Joseph had ever set, but he was thoroughly satisfied. He leaned over towards the partridgeberry bush, and, picking off two more branches, careful to disturb the crusted snow on them as little as possible, dropped the branches carefully over the trap. Out of the great, snowy silence, a sudden, sharp “Ca-ca-ca!” at his heels startled him. He pivoted about, to catch the gray wing flash of the Canada jay as she swept mockingly to a pine overhead. His boots must have polished the snow to glass underfoot as he worked at the trap. He slipped as he started to turn, lost his balance, fell—and with a mighty snap of great steel teeth, the trap closed over his left leg.
...He was seven miles from camp, and his trail was already obliterated by the snow that had fallen during the earlier part of the afternoon. No one would be sent out to search for him for four or five days....
The big storm was forecast, so there was plenty of time to prepare, plenty of time to lay in tea and chocolate and oranges, as well as time to select just the right long novel to while away a long Sunday indoors before the storm arrived right on schedule. What a difference for Sarah between Saturday and Sunday!
What a difference for me, too. This morning I can stay home with the aroma of homemade cinnamon rolls, anticipating the moment they come out of the oven, and looking forward to a long, cozy day with my pack.
The book I pulled off the shelf yesterday, started reading at the bookstore and brought home for the rest of the weekend is an old classic Michigan novel, Julie Antrocchi’s Wolves Against the Moon. You know how it is—somehow there are always books you haven’t gotten around to yet. Well, this one is perfect for a winter day at home: the action ranges from Quebec City to the Great Slave Lake, down through the Straits of Mackinac and all along the shoreline of Lake Michigan through Indiana to Chekagou. You do recognize that last place name, don't you?
You can read about the real man who is the main character in this novel here, where you will find that his life was a bit different from the fictional account. Would you mind? I don't--because Wolves Against the Moon was written and published as fiction. The author is very clear about this in her preface:
The narrator demands the freedom of action of the characters as they came to life and marched out, masters of themselves, upon the pages. The author hopes that the fictitious characters may seem fully as real as the authenticated ones. If some of the episodes seem overdramatic, this may also be ascribed to the “strangeness of truth.” The author has, if anything, underdrawn the amazing happenings in the old Northwest.
An added bonus is that I had a customer for this same book yesterday, and I insisted she take the copy with dust jacket and map endpapers. Map endpapers add so much to a story, I always think. But later I found in my much plainer copy a newspaper clipping from April 1947 about the Indiana Dunes state park, the area of dune country where much of the Bailly story takes place. The park had opened the summer of that year, and in subsequent years my family made many summer day trips to that Lake Michigan beach. Follow this link for a description and a photograph of the big bathhouse that I remember so well. Lake Michigan! The beach! The scary changing rooms with their clammy, wet cement floors and all those fleshy grown women!
The cinnamon rolls? They turned out great. And it feels great to be indoors today, too.
Postscript: The comments about Sarah’s pensive expression told me to show a more engaged aspect of her personality. Call her Snow Dog, or call her Princess of the Mountain—this girl loves the outdoors!