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hs74150.jpgbuy prints of select halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 74

Nineteen summers before, on the day after Tucky Thompson shot at the Lady Sasquatch and missed, Bob Richman saw her for a second time. But that second time he didn’t laugh, and he didn’t tell Tucky. Instead he watched her through a pair of binoculars, transfixed, from across the river.

She tested the water with her foot. It was a hot day, and the river water was cold. The Lady Sasquatch seemed to cringe at first, at the contrast, but walked in until the water rose almost to her waist. She washed herself – under her arms, between her breasts. She stuck her head beneath the surface and held it under for ten seconds – Bob counted — then emerged again. She threw her head back and shook it fiercely from side-to-side. Any water that clung to her head or her face sprayed back into the river. She smoothed down the short, stiff hair on her head, pushing it away from her ears before trudging out of the river and back up the riverbank into the woods.

The next day when Bob saw the Lady Sasquatch, he was certain she saw him as well. And if he hadn’t had a few beers he would have been convinced she was flirting with him, putting on a show.

Again, he saw her at the river, but this time she wandered close to where he and Tucky had set up camp. They’d spent another day hunting unsuccessfully. Back at the camp and inspired by several shots of cheap scotch, a frustrated Tucky grabbed his fishing rod and stumbled off to nearby Teslin Lake. The day, he was determined, was yet to be a total failure.

Bob stayed behind, relaxing. He couldn’t care if they shot or if they caught dinner, since they’d brought more than enough food for the trip. Even if they did extend the trip by a day or a week – as an excited Tucky suggested after they encountered the Lady Sasquatch for the first time — it was unlikely their supplies would run out.

Bob ambled down to the river. The Lady Sasquatch was already there, as if she were waiting for him. She sat on a rock, her body half-turned — in profile — the way he’d noticed his dates in Toronto do when he was late meeting them at a bar. They’d sit with one side facing the table, the other the entrance, watching the door, but desperate not to look eager or anxious. Their relieved smiles when he’d walk into the bar would give them away.

Bob swore the Lady Sasquatch smiled just like that, just like a Toronto date waiting at the bar, wondering whether or not she’d been stood up.

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