Site of The Bear's Footprint (Location Key)


The unnamed boy (in "The Bear") and Ike McCaslin (in Go Down, Moses) both see the "crooked print" of "the enormous warped two-toed foot" that belongs to Old Ben at this spot (284, 197): beside a "rotted overturned log" in the woods some distance from the main hunting grounds. As a moment it is obviously connected to that naked human footprint Robinson Crusoe sees on his 'deserted' island and the 'footprint of a great hound' at Baskerville manor that Sherlock Holmes hears about, but Faulkner makes the moment his own when he adds a brilliantly observed and described way to note how very recently The Bear has been on the same spot: "the warped indentation in the wet ground which while he looked at it continued to fill with water until it was level full and the water began to overflow and the sides of the print began to dissolve away" (197-98). The combination of repletion and loss is particularly Faulknerian.

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Site of The Bear's Footprint
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Site of The Bear's Footprint