The bear stood on the side of the road with his front paws turned in and his head down so that the hump of his back stood up like a half-folded jackknife. From time to time he shuffled his paws in the dust of the side of the road. He was brown with fine blonde guard hairs that gave him a red-blonde colour hunters called cinnamon in the right light.
It was seven in the morning in the middle of June.
The bear sneezed, blowing strings of thick, mucus-flecked spit out the side of his mouth. Blood oozed from the wet slits of his nose and he swayed from side to side like a boxer who’d gone up to block a left and taken a right jab by surprise. His bottom jaw hung unevenly, one side slightly lower than the other, tongue lolling, velvety-looking between this teeth. His jaw was broken and he couldn’t close his mouth, so he drooled constantly.