the smuggler’s bible


The bear chieftain comes out of the woods and sits down in front of Elaine. She spreads out her corner of the picnic blanket and scoots back a little bit.

“You fellas, uh, want…” she says. “Well, good morning.” Over one massive shoulder, she can see faces between the trees. More bears, snouts lifted to the wind.

“Be cool, little sister,” the chief says. “We’re here to learn. That.” He drags one claw across the dirt and points toward her sandwich. “Teach us that, and in return we’ll give you grubs.”

“OK, wow,” Elaine says. “First, a lesson on bartering.”