Disclaimer: The boys are the property of MGM, Mirisch, and Trilogy Entertainment. I do not own them or make money from them but if I did own them I promise I would share.
Characters: Old West. Vin & Original Animal Character.
Notes: No animals were harmed during the writing of this fanfic.
Feedback: Yes please!
It was a busy day in Four Corners but the saloon was oddly quiet. Vin Tanner was engaged in a game of cards with Chris Larabee which was little more than an excuse to sit together and avoid other residents of Four Corners. Both men were surprised when a number of high pitched screams came from the boardwalk outside. An influx of frightened people rushed inside the saloon and peered back out through the windows. Curiosity getting the better of them, Larabee unfolded his loose limbs from his chair and followed the buckskin clad tracker through the door.
Pausing in it's seemingly casual perambulation to sniff the air in the center of Main Street was a bear. A fully grown bear. Swinging it's head towards the saloon it suddenly resumed it's journey with renewed enthusiasm and much to the consternation of the town residents it bounded over and pinned Vin Tanner flat on his back.
"Larabee! Wait, it's Ursula!"
Larabee had gone for his gun and snatched up a chair but now standing stock-still he looked down at what was obviously a joyful reunion on the dusty boardwalk.
"Don't let nobody shoot her," begged Tanner still pinned.
"Hell, unless you're going to propose marriage to it I suggest you try to get up from there," said Larabee waving the other peacekeepers back.
"Let her jus' finish sayin' howdy do."
"Are you sure she's not just sampling you before she eats you?"
"I think she's hurt."
"Hell, Tanner. What are we, correction, what are you going to do with a wounded bear?"
"Gonna try an' get her 'cross ta the jail house an' in a cell fer a start then she don't get shot by some do-gooder."
"Lordy," muttered Larabee wondering why for the most part he wasn't a great deal more surprised as he watched his friend coax the lumbering beast across the street and into the jail house.
+ + + + + + +
The Gambler, Ezra Standish, had emerged from his feather bed precisely at noon and was now engaged in pinching himself. The town was abuzz with the wild tale of Mr. Tanner and the bear so Ezra construed he surely had to be still dreaming? Alas no. He was neither still asleep under his down comforter nor inebriated.
"Yep," J.D. Dunne answered him. "Ursula."
"I thought it you said it was a bear?"
"Ursula the bear from the circus back in Red Fork," prompted Buck Wilmington.
Ezra checked his money was safe in his boot before checking no ursine predators were within sight.
"Nathan is across at the jail house," said Josiah Sanchez taking up the tale.
"Why pray tell?"
"Ursula's injured," continued Josiah.
"A biblical thorn in her paw?" hazarded Ezra.
"That was a lion, Ezra."
"Lions, bears, bees or indeed fire breathing dragons it seemingly makes no difference to our Mr. Tanner. He seems addicted to flirting with dangerous beasts."
"You missed Chris off the list," laughed Buck.
+ + + + + + +
Nathan Jackson looked at the bear in the jail cell and the bear in the jail cell looked at Nathan Jackson. The bear snapped it's jaws.
"Easy there, Ursula. This here is Nate he's gonna stitch yer wound fer ya."
"He is?" asked a surprised Nathan.
"It's deep best ya does it."
"Vin, I know you have a great deal of trust in wild animals but I...well, I don't think I---"
"She won't hurt ya. See," said Vin reassuringly while affectionately patting the bear on the head.
"Vin, you aren't about to stick a needle in her hide."
"I do but I don't trust that four-legged maneater."
"She likes berries an' honey, mebbe the odd moth fer a treat but she won't eat ya whole."
"I don't even want her nibbling me, thanks."
"Lordy. Lordy," sighed Nathan kneeling beside the great beast and opening his medical bag with a deep sigh. "Er, Vin...?"
"I knows, Nathan, but it's awrighty."
+ + + + + + +
Two weeks later the entire town turned out to watch Tanner entice the bear into his wagon with one of Nettie's peach pies and leave town.
"Another of God's miracles," said Josiah Sanchez with a smile like a row of tombstones.
"Vin will need another miracle when Larabee finds out that bear wasn't Ursula and goes Old Testament on him," nodded Nathan puffing on his cigar in the saloon.
"Brother Bruin not Sister Ursula."
"Brother? Did Vin know?"
"Yeah, he knew."
"We'd best all start praying now!"