The Untold Life of Abraham Lincoln: Hunting for Bigfoot
In part fifty-six of our one-hundred-part exploration of the recently discovered secret diaries of Abraham Lincoln, we follow him on an 1837 hunting exhibition.
As we learned last time, an old gypsy prophesied that Abraham Lincoln would become president of the United States if he could defeat the great beast of the Northwest. Upon consulting with his Indian companion Darting Ferret, Lincoln made his way into unmapped regions of the United States beyond its western frontier. He had recently passed the bar exam and his burgeoning career as a lawyer would limit his ability to travel, so if it was to be done, he would have to do it immediately.
Lincoln wrote in his diary, “I set forth today to find the large-footed beast that lives in the forest. My companion tells that the creature are both of similar heights and dispositions. I believe this is an attempt at humor on his part, although it does not strike me so. As the gypsy requested, I carry with me no weapons of any kind. If I am to defeat the beast, it must be through my skills as a scrapper.”
For as we have previously read, Lincoln’s skills at fisticuffs and grappling were legendary on the schoolyards of his youth. One classmate of his would later write, “When it came to a’poundin’ on folks that crossed him, Abe split as many heads as he did rails.”
The creature announced itself not through sight or sound, but smell. Lincoln describe the odor as, “…crawling across the land as slow as fog but with the power of a musket. It smelled like a cross between the stump end of a wooden leg and the devil himself if he were prone to vapors.”
Darting Ferret and Lincoln perched themselves behind some bushes on a hillside to survey the situation. There was a large male creature below, the likes of which neither had seen. It had the hair of a bear, but the shape of a man. Its eyes were not the calm, dead eyes of a predator, but the soft eyes of a philosopher.
Lincoln recounts commenting to Darting Ferret, “It’s as if the best of man and animal were one creature. It is my destiny to face it, but I find myself questioning the necessity of bothering such a docile soul.”
Darting Ferret responded, “My people have a tradition called spirit quest. Where the animal spirit that guides you is linked to you forever. This is your spirit. Not only in body and soul, but also in smell.”
Lincoln then darted forth, ripping the shirt from himself to reveal the pulsating muscles brought on by hard work and clean living. The creature barely had time to react before Lincoln was on him. Lincoln’s surprise gave him the upper hand, but the superior muscles of the big-footed beast soon fought back and seemed to have Lincoln pinned to the ground.
Instead of killing him, the creature just examined him slowly from foot to head, taking time to smell him carefully. When its eyes reached Lincoln’s, they locked and held. As they examined one another, a simple truth of universal brotherhood passed between them. Lincoln was suddenly aware that all things in the universe were one thing and that all that separated one from another was a trick of perception. He wrote that it was “like seeing the world for the first time.”
Also, he realized that he could head-butt the creature from this position. So, he pushed his head forward into the beasts exposed forehead. It bellowed with pain before passing out on the ground in a foul smelling heap. Still shirtless and glistening with sweat, Lincoln put his right foot on the creature and looked toward the setting sun in the horizon while he posed triumphantly.
“The presidency is mine, Darting Ferret. As surely as man will never walk on the moon, I will be the President. Now, pass me some of that deer jerky.”