Y … Yukon


One clear, crisp spring morning in Blizzard Bend, gusty outside, fifty-five below, we watched through the window as the Beaver landed and taxi-ed in. Seven Esquimaux got out, deep in furs, and dispersed. Rusty followed, natty in red coat, sharply-creased pants, wide-brimmed hat. He breezed through the door, asked for coffee. A big guy, friendly, respected throughout the Province, effective at deterring crime.

“Nice day, eh?” ventured Pegleg.


“News on your radio? Drug gang busts? Serial killers? War broke out?”

“Nope, not on my watch.”

Teeny chipped in. “I hear tell of a shootout in Moosejaw week or two back. Someone rob the assay office?”

“Yup. Long ways from here, big-city folks, no respect for law.”

“Yeah, nothing like that happens here.”

“Baldballs shot hissel last year.”

“That don’t count, he was drunk, it’d been a long winter. Anyways, he pretty much missed his head and his shoulder healed up good.”

“Drunk schmunk,” said the barkeep, “he’d been out of liquor for weeks. He was depressed, that’s what.”

“Yep, nothing happens here. Too damn cold.”

“Nutt’n to get riled up about. Downright dull,” said Louis belligerently. “Man needs a good brawl now’n then, keeps him sharp.”

“Poison Pete loved a good brawl. But he left town.”

“Poison Pete? The old cook?”

“Kinda. Sure earned his name. Halved the population one week, dysentery.”

“His mooseturd pie. Worst ever made. Got him run out of town.”

“Where’d he wash up?”

Rusty’s slow smile lit up. “Poison Pete figured he’d never be a real cook, and disliked his poisoning reputation – folks might retaliate. He found opportunity in Churchill. Inherited money, bought himself a fully-automatic fast-food joint. Never had to fix anything, just pour in ingredients and out come donuts on an assembly line. Pure joy to watch it, donut after donut spitting out, forming neat piles. Hey, Joe, gimme a couple Nanaimo pies, this is hungry talk. Pete was plumb unlucky.”

“Bad end eh?”

“Real bad. Remember Avalanche?”

“Avalanche? You mean that overgrown polar bear, wanders downriver every spring?”

“Yep, that Avalanche. He made it as far as Churchill last year. Huge bear, harmless, could kill a horse with one tap of a paw. Harmless, long as you step out of his way.”


“Got in his way. Avalanche smelt that donut mill a mile away, stepped right in, started demolishing platefuls of donuts. Then he reached inside the conveyor belt, and Pete got, you know, concerned. He reached for his shotgun and prodded Avalanche with the butt. Avalanche came back two-fisted. Destroyed the machine with his right paw – luckily it was insured – and scalped Pete with the other. Just a playful pat. Avalanche finished his donuts and ambled on out of town.”

“And Pete?”

“We buried him last thaw, soon as the ground softened. I’ve bought his franchise, retire next week. Hey, it’s hot in here, I’ll finish my coffee out on the porch.”



Also find these older posts…
A … Autonomy
B … Bear
C … Corporations
D … Doggerel
E … Elephant
F … Francis
G … Gamechanger
H … Hope
I … Introduction
J … Judgment
K … Kelemenope
L … Liberty
M … Morning
O … Old Friend
P … Potholes
R … Review
S … Snoozers
W … Weather

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IP Doorman

Copyright 2016 Flight of Eagles

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Writer of Kern.

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