Sunday, June 11, 2006
Lions and Tigers and Bears (in the 'burbs) Oh My!
Here we go again. I had almost recovered from my close encounter with a black bear and then I watched the news. Turns out, these critters are showing up near the UW. For those of you not familiar with the area, UW means University of Washington - like Seattle!! Not the boondocks (which could be used to describe where I live although within 40 min of UW). They are also showing up in Atlanta, wich is nowhere near my home, but anyway . . . In case you aren't one of the lucky ones who I called that October morn, let me tell you about "The Bear".
Helicopters had been present all morning, but not unusually so and I didn't pay much attention. I had sent the boys to school and Katie and I were on our way to meet a friend for coffee and a walk. Let me back up by describing our neighborhood, it is totally the typical suburban cul-de-sac variety. There are fifteen houses on our street, and the next street looks exactly the same. And so on and so on . . . We are surrounded by other homes all backing up to eachother while trying to maintain some privacy, by no means the sort of habitat you would likely find wildlife any more exotic than a raccoon (more on those later). The community does stradle more "wild" terrain, but I have lived here ('cept those five and a half years away at college) my entire life and NEVER heard of this happening!
So, I have Katie half-buckled into her carseat and I notice some Fish and Wildlife trucks pulling into the cul-de-sac. They are talking on radios and obviously see me, but say not a word. No "Ma'am, there is a bear on the loose and we are tracking him, you may want to get yourself and little girl inside", nothing. And then, I see a large black THING coming out from between two homes across the street! What the?? That's a big dog . . . oh, not a dog . . . a bear!
My brain cannot catch up with the strangeness that is unfolding in my neighborhood. I shut Katie's door and jump in the front seat to watch the lumbering animal from behind my car windows. Hey, at least I have On-Star, right? "Hello Mrs. So and So, this is On-Star, how may I help you?"
The Bear investigates the yard directly across the street and then runs down the road searching for a way back to the forest with the "authorities" in hot pursuit. I unscramble my brain and get my bearings. First things first. I must call the boys school (which is in the direction that the bear was headed). I call the secretary and ask her to please not send the kids out for recess because did they know that there was a bear on the loose? (I am most likely teased behind my back every time I go to the office at school now, but I don't care. Those are my babies and I don't want them eaten by a bear, thank you).
I meet my friend at the coffee shop and she assures me that I do not have post-traumatic stress disorder, I drink my latte and go home. No, we did not take that walk because we did not want to be eaten by a bear, thank you.
I spend the afternoon watching "breaking news" regarding the bear hunt, and glancing out my window every now and then to see if the bear has returned to my street. You know, maybe he forgot to check out my lavender, or daisies? Of course I drive to school to pick up the boys because I am scared they will become the bears next meal and I am not alone. The entire town is at school because they are all as crazy as I am!! I, however harbor a secret, I actually saw the bloody thing, with my own eyes!
I hear all of the kids talking about the "bear and her cubs" and "two bears running all over town", I laugh inside because, no, there was only one and no cubs involved. My kids can hardly wait to tell me the "news" and I let them. Then, I lean in real close and whisper "I know guys, it was right across the street from our house". "You mean you saw it?" "Yeah, I was putting Katie in the car and there it was!"
I am now the coolest mom in the very crowded parking lot at school. The strangeness of the morning happenings wears off a little and I check the news before I hit the sack. The bear elluded the authorities all day and scampered off back where he came from (hopefully he stays there).
I still cannot take the garbage cans out after dark, here's hoping that changes soon!
Posted by carrie