Cut and Run

Rawson Lake, Alberta, Canada © Google Maps

“I say we try again.”

“All Trails said there were no bears.”

“Sorry, Stephen. It looks like maybe bears can’t read.”

They’d tried for the car twice already, only to find the trail blocked by a sizable grizzly.

“I’m going to call someone,” he announced, pulling out his phone. “This is a public place. They can’t just have bears roaming around. It’s not safe. We’ll call a ranger and they’ll come get us.”

She shook her head.

They couldn’t overnight here—not in these clothes—with the weather coming. He was making this so difficult. The whole trip had been frustrating—him slogging along, unable to put his phone down for five minutes and enjoy the moment.

He pouted as he swabbed at his phone. “There’s no signal.”

She snorted, one eye on the trail. It didn’t matter if the bear was still there. What mattered was who could run faster.

151 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt click here.

I think this is the second time a bear has made an appearance in one of my Pegman stories, but when I read the reviews of this trail on All Trails, and saw it had been closed several times this season due to bears, I couldn’t resist. That, and the fact that my trip to Yellowstone a decade ago was rife with grizzly encounters, which left me with the sense that anytime I wandered into the Rockies, the bears might find me.


  1. Loved this flash! Bears who can’t read and no cell coverage, just run!

    1. Glad you liked it. Thanks for reading! I hope you consider joining us at Pegman this week. 🙂

  2. Oh, that is a naughty joke at the end – made me snort with laughter! And I liked the double meaning of the title as well. A nicely told story, Karen

    1. Thanks so much Penny! I’m glad it made you laugh 🙂

  3. I like that you have the old joke in there. “I don’t need to outrun the bear, honey. Just you.”

    Maybe this is why you’ve recently taken up running?

    1. Haha, I’m just trying to outrun the Beignets, but sadly they keep catching up with me.

    2. Should you worry? 😉

      1. I’m thinking he might be feeding me beignets to fatten me up for the bears!

  4. What an idiot that man is, I suspect she could outrun him and so the bear would gobble him up and keep the phone!

    1. Ha, now I can’t stop picturing a grizzly staring at a mobile phone with a befuddled expression! Thanks for reading.

      1. I think he’d have claw issues when swiping left on Tinbear (Tinder) or plenty of bears (plenty of fish)!

      2. It’s all the rage in the ursine world

  5. Wow, definitely did not see that ending coming! Traveling as a couple, especially roughing it, can really bring out the worst in people. He’s not looking great out of this, but she’s turned into a monster! Well, that’s one way to get rid of a relationship gone sour: breakup by bear. 😉

    Love his idea that this is a “public” place so there shouldn’t be any bears there. LOL!

    1. Yeah, I have the sense this guy hasn’t spent a lot of time outdoors! Breakup by bear–now there are ‘Fifty(One) Ways to Leave Your Lover’.

      Now I’m dating myself with that old song. And, it’s going to go through my head for the rest of the day. Thanks for reading, Joy!

      1. I’m not only dating myself but revealing how pedantic I am by having Very Strong Opinions about that song — namely about it promising 50 ways and only providing THREE. (Namely: slip out the back, hop on the bus, or drop off the key. Making a new plan does *not* count as a plan. Not being coy or discussing much are things *not* to do, so those also don’t count. And “get yourself free” is just restating the goal. Humph, I say, HUMPH.)

      2. Omw I snorted with glee over this.

      3. That said, I still love the song. Still, points off for the egregious miscounting. I guess “Three or So Ways and Some General Advice” wouldn’t have been as catchy. 😉

      4. Very funny interchange here. I think this analysis would do well as a law school essay if youre thinking of applying Joy😊

  6. This was so much fun to read. Yes, there is the danger of the bear, but the whole nature not reading signs, not putting down the cell to finally, leaving him as lunch…:D

    1. I’m glad you liked it. Kinda wicked of me, but when I tried to write a sweet story about the couple in the picture, it didn’t work out. Thanks for reading!

      1. Haha! We do that, don’t we?

  7. I half-expected it to be a Spirit Bear. Run, baby, run! heheh!

    1. 🙂 yes! Thanks for reading Jelli!

  8. nice touch of humor –
    bears cannot read! ha
    and also love the relationship dynamics and then the energized energy – hope they both get away

    1. Thanks for your kind words. It was fun to write!

  9. PS
    I almost wrote my fiction for “you” because you are K rawson and this is rawson lake – but my muse went elsewhere

  10. I love that this is a public place! The nerve of them to allow BEARS here! 🙂

    1. lol, those bears are rule-breakers from way back. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

  11. Dont know if id trust myself to run toward a bear. On the cell phone issue perhaps they could wrap a steak around it and feed it to the bear. Then make an app to track it so hikers can avoid it. Funny story. Loved the ” tinbear”comment too!

    1. LOL, tracking the bear is brilliant! They’ll need to finagle a way to get it to recharge periodically. Maybe steak-wrapped batteries.

  12. I don’t think Stephen really gets it – this is humans encroaching on wilderness when he’s thinking it’s the wilderness encroaching on human territory. He has to change his mindset – or learn to run really fast! Well told tale Karen

    1. He is definitely not acquainted with the whole concept of the great outdoors. He’s got a lot of catching up to do 🙂 Thanks for reading, Lynn!

      1. I know how he feels! My pleasure Karen

  13. You had me a smiling then a laughing at the end. Nice one, Karen. Sorry for the delay in commenting it’s been such a hectic week! Glad I made time for this story, though, and all the other what pegmaneers this morning. Some really great storytelling going on. You must feel quite proud shepherding this group of globe-trotting writers? Take care. And enjoy your running!

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