Dream of: 12 March 1995 "Face Your Demon"

Several other men and I were tracking a large, brown bear through a forest. We were all carrying shotguns loaded with tranquilizer pellets instead of buckshot. We were trying to find the bear before some hunters found and killed it. Reaching a clearing in the woods, while trying to read the tracks, we discovered the bodies of several red squirrels heaped together in three different piles. Counting up 15 of the dead squirrels, I realized the hunters had been here, had shot the squirrels for fun, and had just left their bodies. I could even see forked sticks which the hunters had stuck in the ground on which to rest their rifles when they had shot the squirrels. I was appalled.

We continued tracking, until suddenly there it was in front of us: the bear. It was boxed in by hills on three sides, and we on the other. Although large, it didn't look threatening. It looked old, tired and worn-out. I only felt sorry for it. Its natural habitat had disappeared and now there was nowhere for it to go. If we captured it, it would probably be taken to a zoo and put in a small cage. I imagined seeing it locked up in a space with barely enough room to move around.

We stationed one man near the bear while the rest of us backed off to decide what to do. As we talked we heard a scream from the man watching the bear, and we looked up to see the bear running away across an open field. Somehow it had slipped past the man. We all gave chase. I felt sad as I saw the creature making its desperate attempt to get away. I ran as fast as I could, gaining ground, preparing for the shot which would bring the animal down.

***

I was in a bar, perhaps in a nice hotel, with the other men. One of the men owed me some money, but he was trying to avoid paying me by saying that I should have collected the money at a certain time, namely a half hour earlier. However, when I protested that he still had to pay me, and when I was backed up by the other men, he acquiesced and agreed to pay. Satisfied, I continued talking with the other men, until I finally realized the man who owed the money had slipped out of the room. Confused at first, I finally concluded that he had mounted a horse and had sneaked away with my money.

Although I didn't want to, with the eyes of the other men on me, it was clear what I must do: I must follow the man and retrieve my money. At first I thought I would have to go alone, but then realized the others were going to go with me. One older man probably in his early sixties seemed especially helpful, and seemed as if he would be able to give me good advice in finding the man.

I knew the man with my money had left on horseback, and that we likewise would follow on horse to track him. We all walked outside where the horses were tied up. I walked up to a large, beautiful, brown horse which I had never ridden before, and I began arranging the bridle. The horse at first resisted my putting the bridle over its head, but finally allowed me to do so.

When we were ready to leave, the other men and I discussed what we would do next. Our quarry already had almost an hour's head start on us. One man had seen the direction he had headed – south. I thought we would just follow him, but then I realized he might have only headed south at first and then doubled back. We might ought to get some dogs and let them search out the trail.

Another idea was that we load the horses on a truck, drive down the road ahead of where the man was, and surprise him by meeting him in the direction he was going instead of coming up on him from behind as he would expect.

I was worried there would be trouble when I found the man. Someone might even be hurt or killed. I began to find the whole matter distasteful, and questioned whether I should even go. I could afford to lose the money; perhaps I should just call the whole thing off.

The elder man standing beside me seemed to know what I was thinking. I could tell that he definitely thought I should go after the man. More than just the money was involved. He looked at me and said, "You have to face your demon."

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