Touching Spirit Bear

describe spirit bear's attack on cole

chapter 8

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Cole thrusts the spear towards the bear, but the animal easily deflects it. The bear easily strikes Cole over the head with a powerful blow. The bear bites into Cole’s thigh, scratches Cole’s chest, and lifts him over his head. As a final act of domination, the Bear places his paws on Cole’s chest and cracks his ribs. Then, the bear stands over Cole in the pouring rain, and Cole can only move his left arm and his head, unable to lift himself. Every other part of his body is broken and in pain. The bear slowly shifts away as seagulls a few steps away fight over torn pieces of Cole’s flesh. Cole realizes that the bear is the only thing that has ever been unafraid of him. A bloody bone protruded from his right arm, and his hand was stuffed with thistles from a Devil’s Club plant that he had grabbed while trying to escape the bear.

Cole, during this time, feels powerless and truly “imprisoned.” He contemplates death. He vomits up the fish he had for lunch and loses consciousness. He awakes to find himself barely alive, still immobilized, and more powerless and alone than he has ever felt before. He comments that even in jail, he had had some safety and comfort, but not so on this island.