Right. So, back from the land of concussions.

Edwin and Cole return from their not at all sexual innuendo scene involving nudity and a stick to camp where Garvey has started a fire. He points out some whales that are breaching and Edwin tells Cole that they're humpbacks. Cole mentions that he's never seen whales, except on TV. I think that if he's seen a whale in Minnesota then something is seriously wrong. Edwin then says that they'll dance the whale dance. Everyone! Do the Whale!

Cole eats breakfast, cold cereal. Edwin says that he might want something more than that to eat, but he and Garvey also eat cereal. Now, this is an interesting point in the story. Cole is obviously making a mistake, but instead of trying to show him what a proper breakfast is, Garvey and Edwin go along with his mistake. How is Cole supposed to learn what a proper breakfast is, if he doesn't see what it is supposed to be? They could have made the proper breakfast without bringing up the cereal at all. I can see what the author is trying to do here, showing that Garvey and Edwin will let Cole make his own mistakes, but if they're trying to teach him something, there are other ways to do it. But that's just my opinion.

After breakfast, Edwin gives Cole a pair of gloves to use, telling him that they'll protect him from blisters. Cole says that he's not a wimp. I stop and wonder what being a wimp has to do with getting blisters. He's trying to prove that he's a manly man, but instead he's once again proving that he's an idiot. This again goes back to show why that long metaphorical phrasing of chewing meat is utterly out of character, because Cole doesn't think. Instead what the author appears to be doing, and not very well, is using this story as a front for his morality tale and not caring if the characters stay in or out of character as long as they get their point across.

Anyway, Cole builds himself a shelter with Garvey and Edwin directing. Eventually he grudgingly puts on the gloves, after his hands get filled with blisters.

Night time comes and Cole makes hamburgers. Or to be more exact he makes a feast of hamburgers by putting lots of fancy things on them. Personally, I don't see how that works. Food is food, no matter what you put on it. It's only festive by the atmosphere around you.

Then, they dance! Edwin speaks first, "All around us there are powers. There are animals like the whale, the bear, and the eagle. There are powers like the sun and moon and seasons. And there are the powers inside of us like happiness and anger. We can feel all of these and dance to them. They all have much to teach us. Today we saw the whale, so tonight we'll dance the whale dance. Each of will tell what we learned from watching the whale."

Garvey, Edwin and Cole (who does it reluctantly) dance, each imitating a whale. For your amusement's sake Alec will now do the Reading of Spirit Bear Dance.

Alec sits down cross-legged, slowly paging through an imaginary book. His expression turns from blandness, to horror, disgust and then anger. He tosses the book away from him, gets up and bashes his head against a wall. Concussed, he drops to the floor.

Thank you Alec.

Then they talk about what they learned. Edwin learned that the whale is graceful and gentle (obviously he's never seen an Orca taking out some seals). Garvey learned that the whale is smart and powerful. Cole learned that a whale migrates but doesn't have a home. He feels like a whale.

The next day, Edwin and Cole do not engage in sexual adventures as they go skinny dipping in the ice cold lake. They sit there until Cole is numb. Then Edwin has Cole take a rock the size of a bowling ball up a steep hill. The rock is supposed to be Cole's ancestors, "Climbing this hill is your life. With each step, you carry our ancestors with you, in your mind, in your heart and in your soul. If you listen, your ancestors reach out from the rock and teach you the lessons of their struggles. Hear your ancestors. Someday, you'll pass those lessons onto others."

Once again we're being whapped over the head with Moral Lessons That We Need to Learn. The author isn't even bothering to be subtle about it. Of course he never was. He just continues to bash us with the Moral Lessons.

At the top of the hill he tells Cole to treat his ancestors with respect, IE don't just drop the rock. Edwin tells him that he's carried that rock up the hill many times. (And now I'm get images of whatshisface who had to push the rock up the hill in the Underworld) the very same rock. Apparently once the rock is set down, it changes meaning. It's a very malleable rock. Now the rock is Cole's anger which he rolls away from him back down the hill. Edwin tells Cole that each time he does this, he'll find new meaning. Cole hardly seems the type that would gather meaning from this, but of course, we all know that he will, because that's how this book is going.

Touching Spirit Bear
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