WHAT IT IS
This is how Hammer tells the story. His pet Polaca was born and raised on the tundra, a vast flat and treeless biome on Ellesmere Island. The cold, wind swept climate and the marvellous immensity of the land did not prepare the Polaca for the forests and confines of the south.
The results were predictable when the creature wandered into a campsite of five families enjoying a leisurely evening around the campfire. First twisting himself into a clothesline, the Polaca ran amok through tents, knocking over tables and chairs while being forever spooked by the underwear and t-shirts that followed him everywhere. He did a couple of passes around the campsite as campers dove for cover under cars, into trailers and anywhere that resembled reasonable shelter. For a moment all was quiet, the Polaca looked like a flea market as he wondered what to do next but the silence was quickly shattered by Missy, a rambunctious Shetland Sheepdog that barked incessantly at the intruder. Beyond irritated by the yapping, the Polaca walked deliberately toward the reversing dog, picked it up and placed it high in a tree.
The campers all agree it was the tranquil demeanor of the red fox pup that brought the conflict to a successful resolution. Showing up on the edge of the campsite, the pup lowered himself on to his front legs and made a soft murmuring sound that caught the attention of the Polaca. Both animals greeted one another with some caution, then walked off down the road.
WHAT IT IS NOT
It was Jessica Potts’ first day at her new detachment and the plan was to play it cool, don’t stand out, do a good job and make it home after the shift was complete. And that was what, more or less, happened on her inaugural day.
The sheer amount of thoughts that raced through her head in the few minutes that Melena Schulz pointed her Glock at her would forever astonish her. She was consumed with the idea of distraction. Once when cooking breakfast, she forgot to turn on the frypan and the eggs never quite survived. What of the index finger, too close to the nail head when the hammer arrives or looking absentmindedly into the spray can nozzle to see why it’s not working? Then there’s wearing a black shoe and a blue shoe complimented by the white sock and pink sock. Standing on top of a bailey bridge straddling the Bison River with a serious weapon pointing at you only a few feet away gave Jessica incentive to ponder the current need for a distraction
In retrospect, Jessica figured it was her open eyed reaction of seeing the fox pup near the bridge that caused Schulz to briefly turn around, but it was enough time for Jessica to jump into the swift moving water below.