Copyright 2012 John Stephen Rohde
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Crystalline light of a Nordic summer sparkled across the wild land. Bundles of cumulous clouds drifted over mountain peaks. Flowers exploded in yellow, red, and violet across lush meadows. On a high grassy slope above timberline, a grizzly bear was foraging for wild berries. Only birdsong interrupted the pervasive silence.
Suddenly the crack of a rifle shot shattered the quiet and boomed off stony outcroppings on the mountainsides. Scores of birds flew into the sky in a panic, their wings whirring in a rushing wind. The bear collapsed where he stood and lay motionless but for fur quivering in a light breeze.