My First Bear
True Story Submitted By:
K. August, Thunder Bay, Ontario
One of the earliest memories I have is at the age of 4 years. Not many people remember that far back in their lives but when you grow up as deep in the wilderness as my brothers and I did, there are many childhood memories that will never leave you.
My father was a bush mechanic at the time, leaving our tiny house trailer in the early morning hours before sun-up to go to work at the bush camp not far from the small lake where we lived. On this particular morning, my mother was still sleeping peacefully when my 5 year old brother called out to me and my 3 year old brother. "Look at the cow!"
All three of us toddlers crammed against the small window to peer out at the large hairy creature as it nosed into the large barrel we used for garbage placed several feet away from the trailer. Our giggles must have made the bear curious because moments later it lumbered slowly over to the window.
We shrieked with delight as we poked at its nose through the thin wire mesh screen while it sniffed and snorted at us. I couldn't contain my excitement and went running to wake our mother. "Come see the cow! Mommy, look... a big cow!"
I remember our mother telling us that it wasn't a cow ... it was a bear.
Okay, I'm older now, and wiser? It still amazes me to this day how our mother remained so calm. Can you just picture your own children pressing and poking a window with a bear pressing through the other side? I don't think our mother saw that part - since the bear had lost interest in us and wandered back to the garbage barrel by the time she had a look.
Yet still, I remember watching the large furry animal and my mother in amazement. She took a couple pictures then calmly picked up a dead branch which she tossed at the bear. It ran off back into the bush from where it came while my head was still filled with the exciting adventure this large creature had brought to our morning.
I've seen many many bears since this time. The good part about it is I've never had a fear of the animals - but always had a healthy respect. I think this in a large part is due to watching my mother's reaction. She showed that bear who was in charge yet I'm not so sure I could have handled the same situation as calmly. Or could I? Perhaps I could thanks to the adventures of my past.
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