Kayla: A Cry in the Wilderness





I miss you, Dad.



Time to get up.

You don't want to be late

your first day at a new school.

Come on.



I'll drive to the station.

No trains last night.

He's probably still there.

No, no.

He hasn't run away.

He'd never have left this behind.

He's been here three weeks, that's

the first thing he unpacks.

Well, that's good Ali.

Means he's decided to stay.



There he is.





I heard the barking, I just didn't

think they'd jump over the fence.

Can't believe they ran off.

Had those dogs since they were pups.

They'll come back, surely.


Not if they're running deer with

a pack wild dogs, they won't.

Wild dogs?

Where did they come from?

Oh, up north.

Up north?


The Laurentians, Shield Country,

maybe farther.

Indian dogs mostly.

Runaways off the farms.

Some packs have wolf mixed in.

Travel south when the rivers freeze up.

Don't you like your pancakes?

Oh, and I can give Sam

a ride to school this morning.

I have some patients out that way.

What's wrong?

They're purple.

Well, it's because I mushed

dried blueberries in them.

Asa likes them that way.



It was only an experiment.

I'll make the kind you like.

I've got to check up on

old LePlant this afternoon

and I'll see if I can ask him

to make us up some skis for Sam.

I'd like him to go on some

of your calls with you,

see you practice medicine.


Any time.

I used to do the rounds with my father.

You'd love that, wouldn't you, Sam?

These are terrific, Ali.

Have fun.

Try to make some friends.

Give me your bag.


Check that belt, would you.

The belt's fine, Papa.

And did you check this battery here?

That's fine too.

What are you looking for?

It's in the engine.

It's the rod, I tell you.

- I don't think so, Papa.

- Well, that's what I think.

What's the problem, August?


The whole darn problem

is those wolf dogs.

The whole darn town council

won't do a thing about it.

We lost three calf's this morning.

Papa said we'll be in the poorhouse.

Well, the township meeting's coming up.

You can have your say then, August.

I'll be there.

You can bet on it.

Well, what's wrong with the truck?

Just threw a rod, goll darn it.

Well, sorry for your trouble.

Uh, this is Sam MacKenzie, Althea's son.

He's living on the place now.

This is Mr. Nightingale, he's

our neighbor to the North,

and Jaynie's his daughter.

And your new classmate.

Well, one of them anyway.




Happy new year, Jaynie.

Happy new year.


All the best in 1920.

Papa, I think I fixed it.

It's the rod, I tell ya.

Set the choke, Papa.

What a useless piece of scrap.

If you ain't going nowhere, you might

as well catch a ride in with Asa.

Ne, ne, ne, careful now.


She'll blow.

See, Papa?

She's running sweet as a top.

Take care, August.

Poor old, Jaynie.

Hope she got a decent breakfast.

I don't think August is much of a cook.

Well, where's her mother?

She died last winter.

Influenza epidemic.

There you go.

You know, I'd be happy to go

in with you and introduce you.


Sam, listen.

Your mo...


Sam's mother married

Dr. Robinson last September.

Sam has been at boarding school

in Montreal but from now

on he's going to live here in Bolton.

Will you tell us something

about yourself?

Tell the class who your

famous father was, Sam.

Samuel Clearwater MacKenzie.

And who was

Samuel Clearwater MacKenzie, class?

Yes, Jaynie?

- Famous explorer.

- And what did he explore?

Could you show us on the map, please?

The Northwest Passage,

Beaufort Sea and Greenland.

Very good.

Disappeared eight years ago,

never found his bones.

Frozen and 1,000 miles from anywhere.


Disappeared without a trace.

Shut up.

That's enough, Jaynie.

Probably got eaten by wolves.

You stupid idiot, he's alive.

I read it in National Geographic,

in the township library.

Expeditions still go

looking for him every summer.

Think they'd go back to

look for someone who's dead?

Whalers got shipwrecked in Greenland.

They lived with the Eskimos for years.

Everyone thought they were

dead, but they came back.

And he'll come back.

But if you father's coming back,

how could your mother marry Asa?


What's so funny?

It's not funny.

That's enough, children.

That's enough!

I walk this way every day,

Sam MacKenzie.

You can walk with me if you want.

It's a very tedious walk,

but I'm accustomed to it.

I didn't mean for everybody

to laugh at you, Sam.

Well, suit yourself.


It's okay.



Get outta here.

Go on.

Get outta here!

Go on.

Go on!

Get outta here!

Let's go.

Come on.

It's okay.

Come on.


Is he all right?

Well, there's no

concussion or frostbite.

Pretty tough for a city kid.

You know, you could have frozen to death

being knocked out like that?

Mightn't have found

you 'til next spring.

Well, he found me.

He's just like Kayla.


His father's sled dog.

His leader.

Kayla's dead.

It was not Kayla.

How do you know?

You don't know everything.

Why are you doing this?


Well, I think you

ought to get up to bed.

Will you carry him upstairs please?


I can walk.


Well, at least he can walk.


It's 99 degrees.

It's almost normal.

Can I get up now?



Come in.

Washburn said to bring

you your homework.

There it is.

Althea, your ma, she's

teaching me piano lessons.

Well, well wait.

What's that?


It's a duck.

A duck?


Well, let me see.

I started making them when I was a kid.

I sell them to hunters.

You made this?


Carpenter hands.

Carpenter hands?

I have a feel for the wood.

Born with it.

Feel my calluses.

All the Nightingale's

have carpenter hands.

We build the church

steeple and Loyalist Hall.

Great-grandpa Nightingale

made schooner ships

in Saint John's, New Brunswick.

Well, what kind of duck is it?

A Mallard.

Look at the ring on its neck.

I don't know anything about ducks.

Sure don't.

You can have him if you want.

- How much?

- I ain't selling him.

So do you want him.

Sure I want him.



I call this township meeting to order.

Now, the first item is the

township winter fair, which

may seem like a foolish

notion, but a good time

was had by all last year so

we thought we'd try it again.

Including prizes, an ice

sculpture, and this year

a little something extra.

Show them in, Jaynie.



Sled dog race.

Open to any and all.

Loggers, farmers, even policemen.

Anybody who thinks he has a

team who can stand a little bit

of rough running is

welcome to come and show

some of that pioneer spirit

that made the townships great.

All right everybody.

Settle down, settle down.

The second item is the wild dog problem.

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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