Is Anyone Going To Believe This?
It was a very quiet evening. After a busy day with my two grandchildren, the evening solitude was totally welcomed. My visit to North Carolina included babysitting while my daughter’s job required her to be out of town for a few days. After checking the kid’s homework and getting them to bed, I ate a few snacks while I watched some TV. One more bed-check at 9:30 and I could settle down to watch my favorite show.
Kids were fine, so I returned to the kitchen and was startled to see that the outdoor, motion sensor light had come on. If the family dog had seen this, her barking would have alerted me. The lit area covered a large patio stretching from one end of the house and past the garages, totaling about eighty feet. A few seconds evaluation prompted my curiosity. I ran to see what I couldn’t determine from where I was standing. It led me to the huge moving figure that ambled right in front of the large window. I stood, gaping, in a mental blizzard, viewing a stocky figure I determined to be the last half of a thigh-high, 3x3ft. rear end of an animal, black with brown tufts, walking leisurely in front of my startled face. Too big to be a dog. But what animal might have roamed from the distant Smokey Mountains? It had to be a BEAR!!! If my brain had not been dulled by the shock value of seeing this animal, I should have run to the few remaining windows that would have allowed me a better vantage point. I could have confirmed the identity of this visitor with more reliable proof. But I stood there, not quite sure of what I did see. So, was I imagining things? Absolutely not! There was an animal that I determined to be a bear. I was not dreaming, and by now the unwanted visitor was hopefully down the street.
Now, do I let the dog out before I go to bed? Usually we give her one last chance to tend to business and get her last romp for the night. But, should I canvas the area before this occurs. She’s a great watchdog, but I don’t want her to meet up with an animal this large and have my responsibility result in the sordid consequence of the family pet. Although a dog can run fast, am I risking a chance encounter with devastating results? I settled on opening the patio door, banging two pots together, and hoping it scares any loitering, hungry animal. I didn’t know if bears were afraid of noise. But I was counting on it.
The next day, I didn’t mention my scary story to my grandchildren. They got on the school bus not even knowing my hazardous, evening adventure. I'll tell them later. But now, the more I thought about it, the more I became an innocent victim of possible harm. The fear inside me seemed to multiply every time I thought “what if I had been outside with the dog?” I couldn’t wait to tell my daughter when she arrived later that day.
“You’ll never believe what happened last evening,” I started to tell her two minutes after she arrived. “There was a HUGE bear outside on your patio last night…” I continued. My daughter’s smile widened with each word. “I was scared to let the dog out,” I tried to explain.
“Sounds like that was Baloo,” she said, “He’s our occasional neighborhood visitor and he’s not a threat at all. Guess I forgot to tell you about him.” Well there it was! Apparently, I would not have been in any danger from our visitor. Now, the hyped up story I wanted to tell my friends just got deflated. It all started with a quiet, evening and an outdoor misadventure. But, in my memory, it was “Beary” scary!
I'm a retired Sun Newspaper typist. I've been writing freelance articles for the past twenty five years. Some of them are personal experiences having to do with my family of eight children and a total of twenty grandchildren. They keep me busy with a variety of subject matter.