Every time that Dr. Dougie Whitman tried to shoot a bear, the bear flew away. Over the seventeen years since he started his career as a poacher this had happened to him at least forty times. In the beginning he would just walk into the woods and raise his gun and suddenly the bear was soaring through the air and over the horizon. After this had occurred a handful of times Whitman realized that as long as the bears could see him, they were going to fly away. He had to get upon them unawares. First Whitman decided to wear camouflage on his hunting trips. The bears still flew away. Then he started painting his face to blend in to the surroundings as well as his clothes. The bears still flew away. Then he decided to stop shouting swears every twenty seconds as he had been doing. The bears still flew away. He trained in the secret arts of the ninja. The bears still flew away. He learned to stop his body from leaving a scent. The bears still flew away. He learned to go without breathing or blinking for hours at a time. The bears still flew away. He developed invisibility cloaks and robotic decoys. The bears still flew away.
There came a day when Whitman’s boss Poacher Tom called Whitman into his office and sat him down.
“As you know,” said Poacher Tom “poachers get an eighteen year trial period. If they can’t shoot a bear during that time, I shoot them. Now, your trial period is almost up so you have one more chance to shoot a bear. Your life depends on this one.”
So, fearing for his very existence, Whitman returned to the forest and tried to come up with a plan.
His plan turned out to be begging the bear. He walked up to the bear and explained his situation and pleaded that the bear to let him shoot him and bring his hide back to Poacher Tom.
“Nope,” said the bear. “You try to shoot me and, you better believe I’m gonna fly away.”
Whitman curled up on the floor of the forest and cried. The bear shook his head and started walking away.
Just then, Whitman’s Extra Plan began. A large plastic dome fell down from Whitman’s orbital space base and landed on the forest. Suddenly Whitman and the bear were trapped under in a clear unbreakable bubble.
Whitman laughed! You won’t be able to fly away now, he told the bear.
“You forgot your gun,” the bear told Whitman.
Whitman stopped laughing. He checked his holster. He looked at the ground around where he had been crying. The bear was right. The gun was back in the cabin.
“You want to shoot me, you’re gonna have to open the dome. But if you do that, I’m flying myself away.”
Whitman was in shock. He had finally managed to trap a bear, to prevent it from flying, but he had still managed to mess it up. Maybe Poacher Tom was right to shoot him. Whitman lay on the forest floor and looked up at the dome, trying to think of what to do.
No plan came to him and he ended up just letting the bear fly away. He had accepted his fate.
“Well,” said Poacher Tom when Whitman got back to the office, “Looks like I’m shooting you, huh?”
Whitman nodded as Poacher Tom picked up and loaded his rifle. A tear slipped down Whitman’s cheek.
Poacher Tom raised his rifle and took aim.
Then Dr. Whitman flew up into the air and over the horizon. Apparently all the time he had spent with bears had caused him to accidentally pick up the secret of their flight. He hung out with bears for the rest of his happy life.