BANFF, AB – Tragedy struck yesterday after poet Gregory Prince was found dead in the woods several kilometres off a popular hiking trail. Prince had been missing for several days after artistically announcing on Facebook that he was going to “Take the road less travelled by” during his upcoming trip to Banff.
The post included a photo of Prince posing like Rodin’s “The Thinker” with the caption “Only the adventurous make history,” and a poem that caused several friends to leave concerned messages on his Facebook wall:
“Today I shall bravely venture forth
Though I have of course no hiking skills,
Regardless of path, I shall head “North”
Musings, not maps, shall guide me henceforth
Into the sexy yet perilous hills.”
Tim Goldsmith, a hiker with over fifteen years’ experience, explained that he had briefly spoken with Prince after running into him on a trail just before the poet went missing.
“When he described himself as a ‘lonely traveller searching for inspiration in the deep, dark wood’, that was my first clue that this guy might not know what he was doing,” Goldsmith exclaimed. “But then he told me that he was deliberately going to veer off from the safe path in search of his ‘muse’, whatever the hell that means. I told him that it wasn’t safe, that there were bears in this area, but he didn’t listen.”
“I mean, the guy was wearing loafers and an argyle turtleneck sweater on an extremely challenging hiking trail. Frankly, I’m surprised he didn’t die sooner.”
Gregory’s wife Angela was devastated to learn of her husband’s death, but admitted that she had had her reservations about the entire expedition.
“He insisted that going off-road was going to make all the difference for his career,” she said, clutching the bloody and bite-marked remnants of Prince’s poetry journal. “But the only hiking he had ever done was the one time he wandered in circles around our backyard for four hours as he tried to figure out what rhymes with ‘orange’.”
“He never did figure it out,” she sobbed. “And now look at him—partially eaten by a cougar at the bottom of a ravine.”
At press time, Banff had officially banned all artists from the park.