I was not looking for any trouble. ‘Serious. But, I did try to sneak one in … through the wildlife neighborhood. Tuesday nights I get the trash ready for the pickup on Wednesday morning. Throughout the winter I brought out the heavy-lidded containers Tuesday night, with a great appreciation for this “hibernation” thing that bears do.
Summer has crept in, as I crept out with my trash containers each Tuesday night. As of last week, “so far, so good”. But tonight, my daughter came to me with some sparkle in her eyes, a mischievous smile, “Dad … I think there is a bear out there. Stash (dog) is going nuts out there on the big deck. I think I heard something down by the road, beating up on your garbage cans.”
I drove down in the jeep. As soon as I saw the can laying on its side, its contents spilling out, I saw a black shape move behind, looking at me with his glowing eyes and his bear-smirk, and then he tore off through the trees. The plan was to get out, get the trash container back together again. The bungee chords didn’t seem to be effective. As I sat in the driver’s seat, looking around through the trees, my courage had an apparent deficit.
*I did not get a picture of the bear, but I went on line to find one that I thought might be similar … So, the picture below is NOT the bear that came to bother me last night; only a picture of a bear.
I had a tall metal red stick with me. I have no doubt, whatsoever, that the stick was worthless, for this situation. Finally, I stepped out, gazed into the trees. I thought I would see Bear, peering at me through the trees. Its probably best that I didn’t see him. Bear would be laughing, or posturing. I knew this was ridiculous to drag my feet getting the can upright. Once the garbage can was all set, I got back in the jeep, drove up the road looking for Bear.
A remote-control camera captured this image of a black bear at Tonto National Monument in 2009.
The home up the road, two houses down, had the evidence of Bear’s visit: two garbage cans, with much more of a mess than what was the case with my two garbage cans. I turned around, drove back … homeward. When I came over the hill, heading down, I saw the same trash can down, Bear walking away, not running … No, not running … just walking away toward the woods on the other side of the road, looking right at me.
This time, I jumped out of the jeep with my tall red stick, sprinted toward the bear, jumped on him, grabbed the hair of his head, and bit his ear.
HA! Can you imagine? No, I didn’t do that. But I wanted to. I was really ticked that the jerk came right back, less than 10 minutes later. No, that’s not right. This time my wife came up with a good idea that I had forgotten about: ammonia. Yessss! I went up to the house, procured the ammonia, came back, served a good helping, and I won’t know if it worked until tomorrow morning. I’m not going out there again tonight. As for “conflict resolution”? No, I’m not interested. But, I may have to re-think the whole garbage-can situation.