Clowns of the Forest

First encounter     When mentioning bears, most people freak. I will admit my first encounter with a bear was similar to most people’s reaction. It was the fall of 2001 and I was 6 years old, playing in the backyard with the dog. When the hair stood up on the back of my neck. I looked across the property to see a big round tan, furry, snarling creature. In my mind I thought it was over, I was done for, but my last thought was that I was going to at least fight to the death. In a millisecond I took off screaming for the house. The dog must have been confused, and decided it had to have been a game, so she took off running with me, being completely unaware of the bear… some guard dog she was.

As I headed towards the house, I see one of the cats outside, I snatched the cat mid-run. I’m sure the bear would’ve thought the cat was the best snack ever. As I dragged the cat by the tail and with the dog following me, I made it to the front door. I opened the door and the dog ran right past me and then I chucked the cat through the doorway. Honestly, I didn’t stick around to see where the cat landed. I slammed the door and went screaming to the shop to find my dad.

Tears were flowing and by this time snot was running out of my nose. My dad looked up from his work in a panic thinking that I was dying. As he had a small heart attack, I ran right into his arms screaming “there’s a BEAR and its gonna eat the cats”. My dad trying not to laugh said: “geezus christ, I thought you were dying!”.

My dad picked me up and carried me to the side of the house to see where the bear was at. Now, most people don’t realize bears are curious but also very scared and wary of us, (black bears that is). My screaming like a stuck pig probably freaked out the bear more than I was freaked out of him. He was now further away and moving away from us. My dad started walking towards him, I instantly started crying again. My dad reassured me the bear was not gonna eat us or the cats and that we should follow him. I refused and before I could run away, my dad grabbed me and put me on his shoulders and began walking to get a better view of the bear. I was convinced my dad was gonna feed me to the bear and I was yelling “how could you! Your gonna feed me to the bear!” then more hysterical crying. He finally put me down and told me to watch.

After I calmed down I saw the bear digging the ground for some roots and then the plump creature froze and fell over. He then rolled around the ground creating a dust cloud like pig pen from peanuts. This creature was being so goofy, I began to giggle.

My dad said, “see kid, he is just minding his own business”. Just then the bear stood up and backed up his big bear ass up against a large pine tree and started to rub. He rubbed and rubbed. My dad and me could not control our laughter as the big goofy bear enjoyed his sappy butt massage. I hugged my dad and watched as the bear eventually stopped rubbing his butt and wandered off out of sight.

As from then on bears have been my favorite animals.


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