• The narrator of the story is a boy named Ike who is 16 years old at the beginning of the story.
• Ike has been hunting with a group of men in the Mississippi wilderness for six years.
• The timing of the story is in the years immediately after the Civil War.
• Old Ben is the bear that the men hunt every November.
• As a child, Ike used to watch the men go out to hunt but this year he joins them.
• The hunting party includes Ike's cousin, McCaslin, Major deSpain, Boon, Sam Fathers and General Compson.
• One morning Sam and Ike are out together and come across Old Ben's paw mark.
• Ike feels fragile and small in the power of the wilderness and its creatures.
• Sam spends a lot of time teaching Ike how to have patience when learning to shoot his gun and hunt.
• The following year...
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