Have I ever mentioned that I live in the middle of nowhere?
Because I live in the middle of nowhere.
My little house is smack in the middle of the woods, and it takes me thirty minutes of driving to find Walmart, fill my car up with gas, or get to the library. And if I want to see a movie, sit in a coffee shop, or go to work, it’s more like forty-five minutes of driving. Without traffic.
I love it.
I live on a dirt road in a neighborhood that I’m fairly certain has more cows than people in it, surrounded by fields and red barns and pine trees. I wouldn’t leave it for the world.
But sometimes, just sometimes mind, living so far out is a little scary.
Like this last week. I was in my living room, it was dark outside, and I was finishing a few sprints with my writing gals.
I love writing sprints. They get me working.
Anyway, it was late and I had run out of creativity and energy and inspiration and all that other good stuff and was headed for bed when I heard my trash can get knocked over.
My trash can is right out my front door. My sliding glass front door.
So, naturally, I jumped up, whipped open the door, and yelled at whatever it was to get out of here. Because naturally, it would be a raccoon or the neighbor’s dogs, right?
Guess what? It wasn’t the neighbor’s dogs. Whatever ran away at the sound of my very heroic—and ill-planned—shout was big.
It was at that moment that I remembered we had a bear that circles our valley. And bears can smell trash up to a mile off.
And my trash was very smelly.
Needless to say, I went back inside very quickly and called my parents. They live next door, and they have a gun. For which I am very thankful. In several minutes, we had a whole troop at my house. Two of my brothers came with our truck to haul away the trash that was tempting the bear, only to get trapped in the truck when the said bear appeared in my driveway, and my father followed them in his car with the gun.
No bears were shot that night. Just so you know.
We honked the horn and I screamed a bit—to scare him off obviously, I totally wasn’t freaking out—and that, combined with the headlights and a good number of loud human voices chased him away.
He still hasn’t come back.
I’m grateful for that.
Normally I love having wildlife in my yard. I get squirrels, deer, turkeys, and so many birds that my cat is constantly glued to the windows. But I draw the line at bears.
Mostly because, once, I had a bear inside my house.
I’ll have tell you about that story another time.
Have you ever had encounters with wildlife that just about scared the pants off you? Tell me about them in the comments!