Welcome to Tuesday Tales!!
We’ve rewinded a bit from my last post. Jaiden is going disc-golfing with Harris and runs into a freaked out Mitz again.
Jaiden trudged to retrieve her disc, her mind still on what could have spooked Mitz. She bent to pick up her disc, but stopped as something in the sand caught her eye.
A print. A large pawprint. She squatted down and placed her hand next to it. “Come, check this out!”
Harris turned and stood over her shoulder. “What is that?”
“Judging by the size, probably a small brown bear.” Jaiden dug in her bag and found her phone.
“Small?” Harris squeaked. “Are you sure it’s a bear?”
Jaiden snapped a picture, using her hand as a gauge for size. “The claw marks on the ends of the toes here make it most likely a bear. I don’t know what else would be out here that’s as large.”
She thought of something, but the claw marks ruled that out.
“Could it be a kid playing a prank?” Harris scratched the back of his neck, leaving a smudge of dirt along the side. He fumbled with the closure on his bag.
“Anything’s possible.” Jaiden shrugged. “A bear could spook Mitz. A kid probably wouldn’t. Although whatever triggered her response is most likely associated with the emotional trauma of her trainer’s death. That probably wasn’t a bear.”
“Gotcha. How fresh is that print?”
“The sand is pretty loose, so it has to be recent. Last hour or so?” She snapped a couple more pictures.
“How about we get some coffee?”Harris jammed his disc into his bag and looped the strap across his body.
Jaiden glanced over her shoulder at him. “Don’t you want to finish playing?”
“Not with a bear on the loose.” He started toward the trail back to the parking lot.
“It could be lurking in the woods right now.”
“Yeah, it could. So let’s get out of here.” Harris’s gaze skittered around the undergrowth lining the fairway.
“Can we see where the trail leads first?” Jaiden tucked her disc into her bag and inched forward, searching for a second print.
“You’re not trying to get a selfie with a bear, are you? People die doing that.”
“No, a picture would be good though. We’ve had evidence of bears reported, but few people actually have pictures. It would be nice to have a better idea of the population numbers. Any more information I can gather would be good.” Jaiden stood and rearranged her bag on her shoulder. She stepped around the print and headed in the direction the claws pointed. Unfortunately, after a few steps, the sand merged with grassy turf that made finding any footprints difficult, if not impossible. “The trail is gone. I guess we can go.”
She followed Harris back to the parking lot and his vehicle. Her mind puzzled on the track. Could Marshall’s print have been a distorted bear track? He said it was bigger than his boot print, but soft mud could easily distort the size. She’d have to get a better look at the picture to see if there were claw marks that would identify it as a bear. Maybe instead of a few lone wanderers, there were a mother and cubs.
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