After a full and satisfying day of puttering around the garden I settled in with a good book for the evening. Shira lay stretched out and snoring in front of the fire with her cat curled up against her warm belly. At around 9:30 I thought I heard some unusual sounds. Mice, I wondered? No, there was too much crashing for it to be mice. Rats? Raccoons?
The noises came from the front porch. What if someone were trying to break in? What would be my best defense? I armed myself with a stool and turned off the living room lights. While the crashing continued Shira snored on. I stealthily moved into the front hallway. Taking a deep breath of courage, I flicked on the deck lights, exposing whatever was outside.
There, eye to eye with me, not more than two feet away, stood a large bear. It was well fed and sported a shiny, black coat. Its eyes moved to mine in surprise. The small stool in my hand suddenly seemed like a toy.
That faithful old dog of mine, partly deaf, snored on until I let out a yell. As Shira scrambled up from her dreams of who knows what kind of scary adventures, the bear turned and ran. It disappeared into the darkness.
Trembling I opened the sliding glass door to bring in the remains of the ripped bag of bone meal and the mauled container of fish fertilizer. Shira barked into the dark for a while before settling down again in front of the fire where the cat told her she didn't appreciate the interruption in her evening snooze. All is well again. It's spring time in the country.
This really happened here a few nights ago. I hope the bear goes up the mountain soon.