This week, I have five straight days of meetings for work.
That’s a lot of talking for this little introvert.
So, to give myself courage for it all, I have decided to tell you all . . . The Bear Story.
That’s right. I’ve hinted about it and promised to tell it someday. Well, today is that someday. Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, and prepare yourself for probably the scariest bear story that you’ve ever heard in all your lives.
Okay, not that scary. But close.
First some background. When I was younger, we lived in a cabin in the mountains. Like, right up in the mountains, with trees and huge rocks and long hikes up to mountain peaks right outside our door. It was great. But being so close to the mountains meant that we had visitors. A lot. Like the skunks who lived under our porch, and the deer who came every day to get corn and salt and say hello. I loved it. Skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, foxes, turkeys. Even a tarantula one time. We had them all.
We also had bears.
Most of the bears were scared of everything. They’d run away if you shouted and were almost as shy as I was. But every now and then, you’d find one that had a bit of extra courage. And one year, a very, very large bear decided that he wasn’t particularly scared of humans anymore.
This particular bear made some serious trouble on the base where I grew up. He ripped the doors off the dining hall to get inside (I told you he was big, right?), chased the base director up his stairs, and generally made a serious nuisance of himself. And one morning, very, very early, he decided to show up at the Geiger residence.
The Geigers, who had a sliding glass door that we never locked and a fridge full of food that was just a little too tempting.
You can guess where this is going, can’t you?
He came inside, helped himself to a loaf of bread, went outside to eat it, and then decided to come back. You know, for the jam.
But, by this time, my dad was awake. And he wasn’t super into the idea of the bear coming back in, so he yelled at him a bit and tried to convince him that it was in his best interest to not be there anymore.
The bear wasn’t convinced.
Instead of running off into the woods, he laid down on our front lawn and waited for my dad to go back to bed. Because that was totally going to happen.
It was about this time that tiny Abigail woke up, looked out the window, and saw a bear the size of a truck on our front lawn.
Okay, he was considerably smaller than a truck. But I was tiny, remember? So proportionally, he seemed pretty huge. Possibly nearing the size of a truck.
Spoiler alert, he didn’t come inside again. My dad was able to convince him that he was better off searching for jam somewhere else, and he shoved off. Eventually, due to the hazards of a bear who liked going inside buildings with lots of people inside, he was trapped and relocated somewhere a little safer. Thankfully.
But to this day, I still have the occasional bad dream about bears coming inside the house to get me. A little childhood trauma for you.
Do you have any wildlife stories? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!