Rereading TGWLTG

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The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
I just reread TGWLTG in original language this time. I feel so with her. And it reminded me so much of when i got lost in the woods back at our countryhouse. It is situated in a big forest on a gravel road. Very seldom you hear any cars so there was no noice to direct you. I didn't have any Tom Gordon to help me in dark moments but then i didn't have any strange creature tracking me either. But i had a swamp, or something with a lot of water at least. But i didn't have to wade part of it. I could jump from one solid spot (forgot the english word in the book) to the next. I choose that route because i had found a tree that was marked and i figured that this looks like a marking of a border of some sort. And if i follow it i ought to come to something, a path or a field or something. After three hours in the forest i came out on a field where cows grassed. From there it was easy to find my way home again. It was even better the second time around and i liked it very much the first time. (and now..... with my head shamefacedly down towards the ground... i admit that i was 20 when this occurred, not 9. I ought to have known better. But I didnt learn. After this i actually preferred to walk pathless ways through the forest but i didn't get lost again. But i wonder, this creature thing, what do you think it was? A bear, A wolf, A Werewolf! Any opinions?


In the flesh.
Sep 1, 2014
Anything that can bite through your skull is plenty scary enough on it's own. Still, the native Americans imbued certain animals with God-like characteristics and they lived with them. I've had a black bear stalk me twice. The first time was on the Alum bluff trail between Gatlinburg and Clingmans dome. I had started late and was the only person on it having passed the last returning near the start. It was a six mile walk.

They chuff like King said. They also stink but I liken it to a wet dog as opposed to anything primeval. And just like he said, you know it's there but it never shows itself. The chuff is distinctive, nearly a grunt but not quite. At the time I wasn't certain what it was but later I heard caged bears make the sound. I pictured it for what it was though. It sent the hackles rising and I felt mighty alone. But I'm hard headed and kept on. The terrain became steep and rough and it couldn't follow after awhile and stay hid. I had to come back the same way in near dark which was creepy and I felt it had waited on me but that may have just been nerves. I didn't hear it on the return. I imagined plenty. I imagined someone finding my camera and developing the film with a last shot of a face peering from shrubs.

A few months later I read of a 12 year old boy taken off the Clingmans Dome trail which is nearly a highway in comparison. It killed him. People and park rangers all over the place there. The article didn't go into a lot of detail but I imagine his parents were near and possibly even ran it off but too late. There aren't a lot of black bear attacks. I guess they have to be particularly hungry and the prey look easy pickings.

The second time my wife was with me. We had walked to Jumping Off Rock on a trail which followed the Blue Ridge highway along a scenic crest. On the way back we heard a limb break and the chuff. I kidded her it was a bear but damned if we didn't hear it several more times. Enough I was near certain it was. Heh. I know my wife aint going to hang around and help me fight it off now. She took off running. I hung back at a fast (mostly backwards) walk and whacked the bushes with my stick. We never saw it but we didn't have to.

I've grown up in the woods and I've never been lost but I've come out farther along a road than I meant to so I can imagine it happening. With this book I didn't have to. Everything was detailed. I felt the muck and smelled the swamp. I felt the sun beading sweat on my scalp and peered into the cool shade uncertain what might be there. Most of all I felt the irritation of mosquitoes. Everything rang true. I loved this book. I loved Trisha.
I loved that she never gave up, that she pushed on, that she learned. I loved that I wasn't certain how things would turn out right up to the end. These things end badly all to often. We forget the world wasn't made for us. Mostly we are the top of the food chain and things don't take too many bad turns. They could though. Very quickly and without mercy.
This is in my top three King novels.
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