The best grizzly bear story you’ve read this year, I bet

Now here’s a story that absolutely will — has to — go national. A 25-year-old “wrangler,” Erin Bolster, leading a trail ride in Montana saves an 8-year-old boy on his first such ride from a grizzly attack, with the help of her mongrel, but gigantic horse Tunk. The (Spokane, Wash.) Spokesman-Review provides all the details in an absolutely charmingly homespun account that includes these stirring sentences:

“The boy was bent over, feet out of the stirrups, clutching the saddle horn and the horse’s neck,” she said. “That kept him from hitting a tree limb.

“But all I could think about was the boy falling off in the path of that grizzly.

“I bent down, screamed and yelled, but the bear was growling and snarling and staying very focused on Scout [the horse the boy was riding].

“As it tried to circle back toward Scout, I realized I had to get Tonk to square off and face the bear. We had to get the bear to acknowledge us.

“We did. We got its attention – and the bear charged.

“So I charged at the bear.”

Did she think twice about that?

“I had no hesitation, honestly,” Bolster said. “Nothing in my body was going to let that little boy get hurt by that bear. That wasn’t an option.”

Tonk was on the same page.

But you have to read the whole piece. It is thrilling, heartwarming and wonderfully crafted; tour de force is not too strong a description. Congratulations to the writer, Rich Landers. (h/t Hal Herring)

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