|Well, we had an exciting afternoon today . . . |
My adult son, Roy, and I were sitting out on the patio pad telling stories and watching the cats hunt for mice. Charlie caught a spirited little ‘playmate’ and he was quite the gentleman, sharing it with Sienka.
Charlie practices ‘catch and release’ hunting, so the mouse was still frisky and jumping around when Charlie suddenly dashed over to where the edge of the pad meets the greenbelt and came to a ‘point’. It was odd to see him abandon a ‘mouse in the paw’, but cats are kind of crazy.
“He must have spotted a bird,” I ventured, without paying too much attention.
“What do you see?” Roy wondered out loud, peering into the bushes.
“Holy crap, it’s a bear!” Roy shouted.
I jumped out of my chair and looked over to where Roy and Charlie were staring. It was, indeed, an adult black bear, and it was no more than 30 feet from where I was working on a crossword puzzle and Roy was sipping on a bottle of Guinness stout.
My instinctive reaction was to act all big and dangerous. I even waved my arms around, hoping to scare the bear away, or at least to frighten the cats enough to chase them back to the house.
Fortunately, I succeeded on both counts. The bear turned tail and ran back into the greenbelt. Charlie raced into the house, closely followed by Sienka, who hid under our bed. She hadn’t actually seen the bear, so she thought I was yelling at her. It took a couple of minutes to coax her out and make up.
Actually, I succeeded on three counts. Our neighbors, Matt & Jamie, were out in their yard with 12 year-old Evan and 6 year-old Desi. They heard the whole commotion, especially my fearsome roar, and Desi was crying a little bit. I had to go over and make up with her, too.
Jamie was actually kind of glad that we’d seen the bear.
“Was it really a bear?” Matt asked skeptically.
“Oh yeah, that was definitely a bear,” Roy assured him.
“I told you I saw a bear last spring!” Jamie told Matt with real satisfaction at finally being proved right.
Roy and I returned to our chairs on the patio pad, but our lazy summer vibe was sort of ruined, and we soon decided to rejoin the cats back in the house. As we headed back in, Roy pointed down at something moving through the grass.
“Look, there goes Charlie’s mouse.”