Frank wasn't lost, because he knew where he was, and how to get back- but he didn't want to even think about returning yet. He was out here by choice, three weeks walk into the wilderness of the Canadian coast range- The last sign of another person he had seen was a trappers line, and a trail leading to an unseen cabin, sixteen days before. He sighed contentedly, and adjusted the straps of his backpack.
The frozen ground made his journey possible, because the numerous creeks, swamps, muskeg and lakes would have made this same journey take almost all of the short summer. He alternated between his short specialy made telemarking skis, when the weather was cold and the snow hard enough, and his snowshoes when the temperature softened the snow too much. He had waited out a blizzard of two days, huddled in a snow shelter, nursing his fist sized fire, and keeping the smoke hole from freazing closed and suffocating him. He had slept in short naps of half an hour at a time, his mind going elsewhere in a kind of trance, thinking of nothing, or at times remembering a snapshot of the hustle and bustle of civilization.
Those thoughts almost always made him uneasy, and he had to listen to the silence, and the easy breath of his lungs, calming again into his waiting trance, like an animal in his burrow. He had three months to spend as he wished, and he wanted to get so far away from everything civilized that he could go for days without thinking about it. Every evening before setting up camp, he would set four snares, and some days he caught some small animal, and others he had to content himself with concentrated freeze-dried rations.
He didn't pay much mind to what he caught, being perfectly willing to eat weasel as well as snowshoe hare.
Certain varieties of moss made a good tea, full of vitimins, and luckly grew on trees, instead of under the snow.
He grew lean and fit, and had to adjust his pack straps to account for his increased shoulders, and decreased waist.
He let his tiny fire go out, and snuggled into his warm bag, hat protecting his head, and lean-to only blocking part of the brilliant starry sky and dancing northern lights.
Frank woke up, and wished he hadn't. He was in the bottom of his sleeping bag, which was being thumped rythmicaly against a slightly resiliant surface, jostling him, over and over. The slight resiliancy made no difference, after a short while, because it went on, and on, and on. It almost seemed he was being carried, but that was impossible, because there was noone who could carry a full grown man- Well, at seventeen he was man sized, anyway- like a sack of potatoes, while running full stride through the snow. Perhaps there were a few men who could accomplish that for fifteen minutes, but as he kept waiting for whoever was carrying him to tire, take a rest, start breathing with the exertion, the steady bouncing continued. Perhaps he lost track of time, but if that was the case, wouldn't it seem like less time, if he passed out on occasion? But it kept on and on, his bladder telling him it must be after nine in the morning, finaly he could not contain himself any more, and managed to releave himself into the bottom corner of the sleeping bag without befouling himself too much- and the odor wasn't much worse than it had been before. The stuffy air of the sleeping bag had been rank with a very strong musky odor from the moment he had become aware of his pecular circumstances.
The tireless running pace never slackened, and the timing of the footfalls and jostling was strange also, if anything could be said to be not strange about his position. He had thought at first it might be a bear, hauling him off, but what bear would keep running for so long? Bears were only good for short sprints of exertion, and didn't run upright. He had an idea, that kept growing despite his unwillingness to believe, after about the fourth hour of his nightmarish confinement within his formerly contentment inducing sleeping bag. The zipper was out of reach, bunched up in the cinched fabric from which he was dangled like a sack of apples. He was dizzyed by the swaying, and the lack of fresh air, the musky odor, and brused by the repeated pumling and jostling, cramped by his position, terrified by the growing acceptance of just what it was carrying him, changing his former beliefs and understandings with a new view of a creature he had formerly thought of as only a myth. There was only one answer, and it was beyond all his previous comprehension. He had to believe, because he was experiencing it- There was such a thing as Bigfoot, and he was now it's captive.
Frank must have passed out at some point, when he woke up it was daylight.
He lay still, and when he didn't hear any noise, he slowly parted the end of the sleeping bag, and breathed in the blessedly fresh air.
He could still smell the musky scent of the bigfoot, but had become almost used to it, and had become so acustomed to being carried that the stillness of lying on the soft branches his bag had been placed on that he felt like he was still rocking along the forrest floor.
He froze when he heard a rumbling sound, then he realized it was a deep soft snoring. Listening further, he became aware that it was actualy several sets of snores. He cautiously folded back the flap of the sleeping bag, and found himself looking into a pair of inquisitive dark eyes! He recoiled at the same time as the owner of the eyes, and huddled under his bedding like a frightened child, after all, these creatures were more tangible than imaginary monsters under the bed. His mind reviewed what he had seen, and slowly, like a developing instamatic photo, the image resolved into a curious face, with intelligent and curious eyes, covered with white fur, possessing pink shell like ears, powerful shoulders, broad hands with large strong fingers, wide black fingernails, flatish fur covered breasts with naked patches surrounding large pink nipples the size of his thumbs- Yes, the creature was certainly a female!
It didn't seem to be as large as the one which had carried him here, being only about half a foot taller than him, as near as he could tell from it's crouched position nearby. He wondered about the lighter coloration, and smaller size, it- She, he decided to think- had dark eyes, so it- She, he reminded himself- wasn't an albino. He wondered if she was a yeti that the bigfoots had adopted, and had to stuff part of the sleepingbag into his mouth to stifle his hysterical giggles.
As he lay there shaking silently, a gentle hand pulled back the flap of fabric which was covering his face with gentle concern. The look of confusion on her face set him off even more, and he was practicaly spasming with delayed hysterics, making snuffling snorting noises in his losing attempt to keep his laughter silent. She cautiously touched him, trying to comfort him in his supposed distress, and he couldn't hold his insane laughter anymore, breaking the early morning quiet with whoops and caws like a demented crow. She retreated to a safe distance, with such a look of alarm and startled bewilderment, that Frank did the impossible, and laughed even harder. The other Yeti woke up, and he saw that there were three others, A large male, a slightly smaller male, and a large female, all colored a dark brown, with black noses and palms and skin. Even their tongues were black, and their eyes were dark brown. They all looked at him in amazement, and he continued to disturb the morning with his hysteria.
When Frank finaly stopped laughing, mainly because he was too weak to continue, and his guffaws had long since turned to silent sobs of dispair, he dozed off in utter emotional exaustion. He roused enough to open one eye every once in a while, his subconcious mind keeping track of his danger level, staying somewhat aware of what the bigfoot family was up to. They also kept a wary eye on him as well, as they went about their business. They groomed eachother, combing through eachother's fur with their fingers, cracking any parasitic insects they found between their broad front teeth.
They seemed to have vegetarian teeth, broad flat molars, the front teeth flat and suited for chopping vegetation. He saw them eating evergreen needles, the young tender spring green shoots of new growth. That might have something to do with the powerful odor they exuded. They seemed to have a language that consisted of soft hooting, grunts, and arm waving.
Frank imagined that with such a simple existance, there might not be all that much to discuss. Once he got up and went into the bushes to pee, but they didn't pay him much attention, and there wasn't anywhere he could really go anyway, his boots were who knows how far away, back at his previous camp.
He finished his business and returned to his sleepingbag, under the rock overhang, on the soft pile of branches.
The day dragged on, and he dozed in and out of an exhausted slumber. When he next awoke, it was dark, and there was one of the creatures curled up against him on his nest. He had the idea that it was the- that the one snuggled against him was the white she. He was grateful for the added warmth, as these creatures, this family, didn't use fire. In fact, they didn't use any tools that he could tell. They were perfectly suited to their enviroment, much as dolphins were suited to a life in the ocean. This perfect harmony with their enviroment didn't mean that their intelligence was substandard, or that they were any less worthy to exist than he, but just that they were still in the state of innocence that mankind had left behind when the first ancestor had picked up a rock and slew his neighbor for calculated gain. He hadn't seen them angry, and had no wish to, and thought that the male, especialy, probably had the capability to tremendous rage driven strength, and that the large female, the mother, would probably protect her offspring, her children, to the last breath in her body. He imagined that in a fight with a bear, the family would fare well enough, with hurled boulders like an avalanche, if they were ever impolite enough to get crosswise with a bear. Come to think of it, perhaps the bear might get hurled like a boulder, grabbed by the scruff of it's neck and heaved like a hammertoss. If human men could toss a log sized caber, he had no doubt that if one of these bigfoots wanted to, it could flip a downed tree end for end, or just roll over the largest log to get at the grubs burrowed into the underside.
Thinking these thoughts, and snuggled against the warm furry heat- source, which seemed to be several degrees hotter than his own ambient temperature, he sighed comfortably and fell asleep.
When Frank woke up, at first he didn't remember where he was, his first clue, bringing back the events of the past few days with a rush, was the musky odor of the fur his face was pressed against.He had moved and adjusted in his sleep, and he was entangled awkwardly and intimantly with his sleeping partner. His gentle efforts to extricate himself were rewarded with an unconcious tightening of her grip, and he realised that his face was pressed against her breast, her nipple folded against his cheek. He contented himself with adjusting his sleep caused hard-on into a more comfortable position, and relaxing back into sleep. He had never slept with a woman before, not that he was a virgin, but just that he had never been in a relaxed enough situation to actualy sleep with a woman. He enjoyed the experience now, even though strictly speaking, a bigfoot female wasn't exactly a woman. Still, he was comfortable, warm, and felt protected and loved. It was a very companionable thing to do, to sleep in the arms of someone, even if they were covered with hair and were almost twice as massive as you.
In the morning, he woke alone, and went off a little ways to pee. When he got back to his nest, he found his She waiting with a piece of bark covered with fat legless grubs, they were wiggling slugishly in the early morning cold, and were ivory colored and had dark reddish heads. He looked at them, then she demonstrated the proper way to hold them by the head, and bite off the fleshy bodies. He tried one gingerly, and was surprised by the nutty flavor and buttery consistancy...
Full of protein, he surmised. Probably a wood beatle larvae.
He was distracted by the activity of the two full grown bigfeet, they were making love in a noisy way not far off, on their own nest. The two younger bigfeet only paid cursory attention, it evidently not being something that was unusual or strange.
Frank looked long enough to satiate his curiosity, the female had the standard equiptment, and the male's organs of reproduction were not very large, being slightly smaller than Franks, although his testicles were quite pronounced, being as large as kiwi fruit and hanging quite low. His She noticed his attention on the other two and made a purring chirp low in her throat. He thought he knew what that ment, but ignored her and devoted his attention to the grubs, he hadn't eaten for over a day. After his repast was through, he submitted to having his She groom through his head hair, not quite ready to have her explore the rest of his body under his clothing, he gently resisted, pushing her hands away, and she didn't insist. He scavanged around, and finding some apropriate pieces of bark, used his tiny pocket knife to fashion a pair of sandals.
At least he wouldn't have to walk about in the snow quite so much.
He used spruce root fibers for the bindings, and the rough but useful footgear stayed on, and kept his soles from prolonged contact with the frozen snow, much better than soggy socks. He still had to brush off any snow which fell on top of the sandals, and he found that the socks only made the snow stick, so he was better off without them.
His She didn't understand the symbol for drinking which involved tipping an imaginary glass, but a cupped hand brought up and tipped to his mouth ignited a look of comprehension. She led the way about half a mile to a clear stream, and he drank his fill of the icy water.
After returning to their nest, he repayed her kindness by grooming through her fur, which made her feel apreciated and loved, socialy bonding them, establishing their respective roles towards eachother.
She encouraged him to search for imaginary parasitic insects in more and more intimate locations, under her arms, along her sides, her thighs, and muscular buttocks. He called off the game before it got out of hand, and didn't protest this time however, when she proceeded to explore under his clothing, obligingly removing his garments as indicated, excepting only his shorts, which modesty prevented him from removing. She seemed surprised at his lack of fur, and held him close to her protectively as she studied him. It seemed that she found him odd but acceptable. She permitted him to redress, noticing with interest his slight shivering with the cold. After getting warm again, Frank indicated that he was hungry, and she led him off on a foraging expedition which was very educational.
Frank's She took him on a foraging round, down to some frozen muskeg swamps where she pried up frozen slabs of watery mud, revealing tender skunk cabbage bulbs, just starting to sprout green tendrils. They looked kind of like overgrown bamboo shoots. After they had both eaten their fill, wiping the mud off in the snow, she replaced the frozen slab, to protect the remaining skunk cabbage, and to reduce traces of her activitys, Frank imagined. He suspected that the gathering lifestyle that they led had to be nomadic to be sustainable.
They were secretive beings as well, walking on fallen logs, or under the edges of snow covered trees, reaching back to shake the branches and cascade the snow down on their tracks. Frank thought that only when rushed, in a big hurry, would they leave obvious traces.
The next stop on the foraging circut was to a large nut cache, stored there by a gang of noisy squirrels, who protested the raiding of their larder. Frank and his She left plenty of nuts for the squirels, taking only what they needed at the moment, and he was pretty sure that the canny squirrels wouldn't have put all their nuts in one hollow tree anyway. When they had finished their repast, and moved on, Frank looked back to see the busy squirrels moving the remaining nuts from the broken log to a safer location. She showed Frank where the tasty grubs were found, which pine tips were the best, although she prefered a more flavorful variety than Frank did, he evidently getting the "baby food" version. Even so, the tender needles slightly numbed his tongue with a menthol aftertaste. She also ate some hucklberry leaves, with a few withered berrys still attached, at a lightning struck maple tree shredded off the outer bark with a twist of her hand, revealing the tasty inner bark. Well, it was bark- just how tasty could it be?