The couple went walking on the trail to the river in a place they planned to leave before to long or lament about leaving, and they were eaten by a mammoth.

      The mammoth turned out to be a stealthy thing of scrap and deftness.  His hair had the look of fluff and was not at all matted.  His eyes were brown and familiar and full of the clichéd truth of their lives.  The truth of their lives was simply that he wanted to move, and she wanted to rest.

      “We need to rest,” she would say.

      “Just down the trail there’s a break in the river,” he would say, and she would not be surprised.

      They had a way of being.  He thought of catching beaver again and again—as the old story goes—and she begged for rest or breath or just a place to look at for more than three days.

      If she didn’t say, “We need to rest,” she said, “I want to go home.”

      “I want to go home, too,” he would say.  They both, of course, meant different things.

      There was never enough beaver meat, and there was never enough rest.  They were of the perpetual mind to shake hands in agreement of their disagreement, and nights they still made love with the toboggan of beaver pelts rot-eyed outside the tent.  Their lovemaking was still passionate, and some might even have called it perverse.  She would bite his neck, and he would plunge and withdraw, plunge and then withdraw for a longer time than he knew she wanted but wanted all at once.  This kind of thing had the habit more so of continuing than ending until, of course, along came the mammoth.  And so now, of course, they’re both dead.


The Nights and Nostalgia theme for this issue of Foundling Review was a tough one for me to interpret, until I looked up the word nostalgia and realized that it is not just a longing for the past but can also mean the desire to return home.  The nights part I knew I had covered because I can
easily write about sex (which happens at night sometimes, right? :). 
But, ultimately, I based this story on a Canadian folktale called Attack of the Mammoth.  I thought it was worth re-telling and re-forming; who isn't, after all, afraid of being eaten by a mammoth?


Along Came The Mammoth - Blythe Winslow (c)


Copyright 2009