The Wild Man

The Wild Man

A Story by mark r wells

A short article about the mysteries of the Forest


Standing silently, along the Pike Peak Highway near the parking lot of the Crystal Creek Reservoir, is a carved wooden statue. A totem pole or Ute Indian perhaps, maybe a famous American like Zebulon Pike? To those, the answer is no. Instead, mounted atop the ponderosa pine base is the carving of a Sasquatch, Bigfoot.


      For a moment I am surprised that it was felt more important to have the statue of a mysterious and possibly non-existent animal than that of someone or thing that represents the colorful history of the area. But as I read the plaque alongside stating Fact or Fiction, I am reminded of a time when I was seven and my extended family took a vacation up into the high mountains and timberlands of the Big Trees National Forest.


      I remember my sister and I thinking that the purchase of large, face size lollipops of spiraling candy colors was an excellent idea. We had never seen a piece of candy so big and we had to have them. Unfortunately, after a number of hours, we lost the war of attrition licking the suckers to the point our mouths were puckered and our lips nearing closed shut from the sugar-induced intoxication.


      We had to admit defeat and solemnly say goodbye to the victors as we placed them atop the trash in the trashcan outside.  I don’t know if it was my sister, or myself but being young and immature, we were more interested in returning to the tire swing than making sure the can was closed. That night the effects of our carelessness were heard in earnest outside.


      The growls were intense, the barks pointed and rough. Without the moon, it was beyond dark and even the porch light could barely radiate against the night. It was big, that was obvious. My sister and I gathered with everyone else around the windows trying desperately to see what had come to visit.  My father took the time to admonish our neglect in dealing with the trash and that this event was surely our fault. Although doleful in our response, the sound of the intruder distracted everyone from the scolding.


      Now it was getting scary. The growls gave way to screams and wails. The trashcan had become the target of its rage and it was easy to hear it being banged, smashed and tossed like a pebble around the yard. At one point it was thought the can was crushed against the house or at least the porch. We all cautiously moved back from the windows to the safer parts of the house should whatever it was, decide to use them as a point of entry, trash can first.


      But luckily the sound subsided. After a particularly loud yell and a scratching and scraping of the metal of the trashcan, the outside fell silent. Whatever it was that had wanted our lollipops more than we did had left. The morning showed us all the extent of the angrily encounter. The ground was too hard from the cold to see any prints and marks as to what came through, but the trashcan gave a clear indication that it was not likely to have been a bear. There in the large pine tree outside the house stood the can, crushed and bent. It was wrapped around the tree about 9 to 10 feet in the air. My six and half foot father with his arms stretched high above his head could barely reach the bottom of the can.  I don’t remember who said it, but the discussion quickly turned to the possibility of Sasquatch. I was at once terrified but intrigued and excited at the possibility.


      To this day, in the downhill trek of my life, I still remember that night.  I remember the fear, the exhilaration, and the wonder of what could have caused the damage to the trash. I remember the sounds and the anger that was expressed in the voice of the animal that came to visit.  But with age comes reason and for me in particular, a life driven by science and engineering. I am one to give consideration to the improbable and mysteries of our world, but not one to take it on faith without proper proof and examination. As early as 1902, the Great Ape was still a myth and it wasn’t until 2006 that we actually filmed the Giant Squid. So there is always a possibility.


      I think back to that statue and the experiences of childhood, to the videos both fake and realistic that flood the Internet of bigfoot’s existence and I formulate a plan. I need to know, but I cannot give up on life to suddenly become an explorer or crypto-zoologist.  A long vacation, however, that is in the realm of the possible.


      So a camping truck will be readied, food purchased and stored, cameras checked and bait apples and fish prepared.  I will travel to the deep-forested hills and mountains of Oregon or Washington, home to the majority of sightings. I will drive along the back highways and find the fire roads that meander dangerous up into the hills as far away from populations and people as possible. There I will sit, camped, cameras arranged and bait put out.


      In the end, one of two things will happen. I will spend the long week in the peace and tranquility of the silent forest, enjoying the natural world around me, disconnected from the Marionette strings of our technological society, or Bigfoot will show up, take a few apples and scare the living hell out of me while my inner child runs around shouting with glee.

© 2016 mark r wells

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Added on December 9, 2016
Last Updated on December 9, 2016
Tags: Story, forest, bigfoot, mystery


mark r wells
mark r wells

alexandria, VA

A first time writer but long time story teller who, after being laid off in the winter of 2009, decided to once and for all, write a book. Now that I have finished my first novel, I find myself with .. more..