Short Stories

Adventures of Rusty Bear Paw
Rusty Bear Paw Joins the Army
By S. Sawyer

To ever whom it may concern:
I’m gone down to Fort Jackson tomorrow over there in South Carolina. Done signed my name on the dotted line for the US Army. This here gone be my will and testament in casing I don’t make it back. 
I, Rusty Bear Paw Donaldson, do here by leaveth my 20 gauge Remington shotgun with Jimbo Wildcat Freeman. He can have all the shells too, cuz I spect I won’t be needing them nomore.
Oh, and my bear skull. Give him that too. It’s at the top of my closet.
I leaveth my bow and arrows that I made with these here hands to Buddy Fisher. May his arrow always fly strait. You can ax him if he wants them moccasin boots too since he helpt me skin the deer to make em.
What little else I own I leave to Mama. 
Rusty Bear Paw Donaldson

After completing his will, which he left tucked in the drawer of his night stand, Rusty Bear Paw, with bag in hand, left for the bus station. At the bus station, he kissed his teary eyed mama on the check, shook his daddy’s hand and waved goodbye. It was the first time in his life Rusty Bear Paw had ever left the wild swamps of Louisiana. But at 18, he was a man now, and his country needed him more than the bayous he was leaving behind.

Dear Mama and Daddy,
Fixing to graduate from Army basic training. Its been some mighty long weeks here.You
wouldn’t even recognize your son nomore. They done shaved my head. Yawl would be proud cuz I finished at the top of my squadron. They gave me a top secret clearance that I ain’t suppose to talk about cuz the secret service watchin everything I say and do now. They are giving me a weekend pass on the town then they gone ship me to my first secret location. Wish I could tell yawl where I was going, but I can’t. I will write again soon. 
Love yawl, 
Rusty Bear Paw 

At the conclusion of his weekend pass, Rusty Bear Paw was dropped off by helicopter in the middle of an undisclosed jungle with nothing but a bowie knife, a canteen of water, and a flare. With a fixed determination, he set out to complete his mission. The objective: locate and capture the enemy without being detected.

Now the thing to know about Rusty Bear Paw was that he had spent his whole life in them Louisiana swamps trapping and hunting animals. This should be no different. Smearing his face and arms with mud, he crawled up a tree to catch a few hours of sleep.  At early dawn, he woke ready for the hunt.

Stealthy as the panther hunting his prey, Rusty Bear Paw stalked through the jungle with a silent ease. But after four days in, he still hadn’t found any signs of his target in the vicinity. He was getting hungry, so he ate on grub worms and ants for food, since he didn’t want to light any sort of fire to cook the crickets or other critters. He came across a stream to quench his thirst. He could make it as long as he needed to in the wild. He would wait his enemy out. With night falling, he chose a tree near the stream to sleep in. His prey would be getting thirsty, too. Rusty Bear Paw had long ago mastered the art of the light doze. He could shut his eyes and rest his body, while still being completely aware of his surroundings.

It was the smell that snapped him wide awake. A smell that didn’t belong in the jungle. He peered down over the branch he was hiding in and saw the glowing ember of a lit cigarette directly below him. The rush of adrenaline the hunter gets right before the kill was coursing through his veins. This was it.

With the bowie knife gripped tight between his teeth, he leaped from the branch down onto his unsuspecting target, tackling him to the ground. Without so much as a struggle, the enemy surrendered to Rusty Bear Paw, who set off a flare to signal the return of the helicopter.  His mission was a success.

Dear Mama and Daddy,
I did my first top secret mission for the US Army. They say I’m a hero now. Ain’t that something! Can’t talk about it, but I will say it was a lot like hunting a deer. I miss yawl something terrible. Specially your squirrel stew Mama. But now I’m on to the next secret mission for my country. Pray for me.
Love yawl,
Rusty Bear Paw

To be continued…

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