Tuesday, August 16, 2016

How I Barely Missed the Bear

I wish I had photos of the event. But when it happened last evening, my cell phone was lying in the house on the counter.

So, background: my husband and I are living in a lovely rented house in Lenox, Mass. Across the street lives little Burt, Poco's playmate and love interest.

Often at the end of the day, I cross the street, and sit with my friend Nancy on her front porch, each of us in rocking chairs, chatting. Meanwhile the puppies play and bark and eat ice chips and rest.

Sometime earlier this summer, I got in the habit of crossing the street about six, carrying a glass of wine with me. Nancy prefers sweeter wines and gin and tonics, so she fixes her own drink.

(If you think I'm going nowhere with all this background, hold on, it does get more interesting!)

Last evening, I was reading but at some point, I noticed Nancy on the porch. So I got off the couch, poured the wine, and headed across the street. I came through the gate,
and headed across the lawn to her porch. I was up one stair when Nancy pointed -- a few feet away was a large black bear!

Had I crossed the lawn ten seconds later I would have -- "met" the bear in the lawn.

Chaos ensued on the porch. We knew that if the puppies saw the bear, they would fly off the porch to bark at the bear, and we had to make sure that didn't happen. I grabbed for Poco but she wriggled away. Nancy went for Burt but he is such a hefty dog she couldn't lift him. I kept yelling, "Poco, stay! Poco stay!" All this time Nancy was trying to get the screen door open so we could get the dogs inside.

At some point in the melee, I dropped the wineglass and it spilled cold wet liquid down Nancy's backside.

By this point, the bear was at Nancy's garbage pail, sorting out what might make a good meal or a snack. We were in the house gazing at him through the front window. The dogs were on the back rest of the sofa barking at the top of their lungs. Finally, Nancy used her remote key to get the car to make its horn noise. At that point the bear climbed up a tree (at least ten or 15 feet up) over the garbage pail and swung over the fence to the neighbor's yard.

It was hard to believe the bear had been so close. Had we not been on the porch with the dogs, they would have sailed off the porch after the bear, and who knows what would have happened.

After settling the dogs down, Nancy went to change her clothes and then she poured me a glass of zinfandel.

I needed it. And another one when I got home.

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