Download Dall Study Guide

Subscribe Now


In Pam Houston's short story "Dall," the narrator is on her way to Alaska to assist her hunter-guide boyfriend, Boone. The narrator states at the beginning of this story that she is neither violent nor does she shoot anything. On top of this, she also does not like to be cold. Nonetheless, she agrees to go along on this trip despite the fact that she will be sacrificing all the creature comforts that she has become used to.

She and Boone set up a living space in a small cabin. But they will not be staying there for long. Once a paying customer shows up, they pack up their gear and head for the outdoors. They will be gone until their customer shoots an animal, which might be one or several days. Their main focus is on Dall sheep. Boone promises her that if the hunter is experienced, the death of the sheep will not seem brutal. It will be fast with little pain.

The narrator says that she and Boone made a good team, except when they fought. Their fights were often spectacular; more often than not, they argued not in the open field but rather only once they were safe and secure in their cabin, or any other place that offered them warmth and shelter. They did best when their lives were threatened by extreme cold, treacherous terrain, or by wild animals. While out in the wild, they also had their best sex. They waited until their hunter-customer started to s nore, then they would have raucous relations.

They had four hunters that season. Some were better than others. One merely wounded a...

(The entire section is 409 words.)