But like the time, three weeks after my twins were born, when I ate six grapefruits in a sleep and vitamin-deprived orgy of gorging, I've just devoured the book Meet Mr. Grizzly---a story set far from any office anywhere.
Montague Stevens, the author, was a one-armed English gentleman; a horseman, houndman, hunter, and one hell of a good writer. He tells of southwestern New Mexico in the late 19th Century, a time when big brown bears still descended from the hills (as Steve B.* once wrote, "like goblin kings") to kill sheep and steer with the swipe of a large paw.
Stevens dedicates himself (mind you, mostly after losing his arm) to hunting these pirate grizzlies on horseback with a pack of various trailing and fighting dogs, intricately trained for the purpose. The building and handling of this unique pack (made of bloodhounds, sighthounds, terriers, pitbulls and a Great Dane!) makes for the meat of the story and amounts to a lifetime accomplishment greater than most of us will ever claim.
In a word, the story is a marvel. Steven's Cambridge education, exotic subject matter and gorgeous setting help make it so. If the book is still in print, and you'd like to spend a few hours hunting grizzlies in the high lonesome desert, please don't hesitate to make the buy.
* More on the Bodio connection: Steve's home village of Magdalena plays a role in Stevens' story, being the nearest thing to a big town at the time (though not much bigger now I bet!). And the copy of Meet Mr. Grizzly from which this latest edition is reprinted came from Steve's own library, complete with the author's signature, circa 1944.