Monday, June 20, 2005

If You Go Into The Woods Today...

Guess who had a hard time falling asleep tonight? David. And can you guess why? Well, something scared him and he couldn't get it out of his head. You know how sometimes something happens right before you are getting ready to put your child to bed and you just know there's no way you're getting them to bed, not without several hours of coaxing, compromising and pleading (on your part) and that's all before anyone has even cleared the dinner table?

Well, we had one of those nights. David got a little spooked by the big, black bear that Daddy spotted climbing the tree up to our finch feeder this evening.

"Oh my gosh...there's a bear climbing up that tree...Look! A bear!" We were cuddling with the kids in the living room when Ernie spotted it. David was sitting in my lap in a chair and Sofia was with Ernie reading a story on the couch. He spied it out the window, down the slope of the lawn. With his words, chaos let loose.

"Where?? Where?!" I can't see a thing. I never put my contacts in and I can't find my glasses without them so I stand up and trip over some books on the floor and run to last place I think I saw them. David falls out of my lap and runs in a little circle before heading to the window. He's calling "Oh!! What, a bear? What???"

Ernie is running around, but I'm not sure what for. That's just what you do I guess when there's a bear in your yard.

"The camera! Get the camera!" I say to him. " Oh- Get the video's right here...oh where is it?" I knew I left it on the TV cabinet, but it's not there. "No, it's on the piano!" Ernie grabs it from me and heads to the back deck. I scoop up a kid in each arm and we head to the window to watch the wacky bear-in-our-yard show.

The bear is making its way up the tree. We can see the leaves moving but can't make out the bear so well and then it begins its shaky balancing act on the limb that the finch feeder hangs from. The bear isn't huge: It looks to be a juvenile black bear, so it's not super big, but you can see it's pretty heavy by the way the branch gives way beneath it. The feeder is so close to the ground and the bear is swatting at it from above, but just can't quite reach it. It makes its way down the tree, then back up again and continues this for a while without success. It stands up on its bear toes from beneath the feeder but still no luck. After a while it meanders down the crumbling stone wall at the edge of our side yard and crosses the street, disappearing into the thicket. Ernie got the whole thing on tape while the kids and I watched from the living room and then the office window. I think Sofia was not quite sure what to make of it, but David was horrified and intrigued at the same time. He would say "Oh, I've never seen a bear like that before!!" and press his nose to the window and the next minute he would cling to me and cry "I don't want it to poop on me!" I'm not sure where he was getting that from. But that would indeed be an awful thing.

Well, needless to say David didn't get to bed easily tonight. And he was just up a few minutes ago, asking for water. But this time when I brought him his drink he was clearly very thirsty. I think he might be just a tad stressed out by the evening's events. I'm a little wary myself. I did my usual poke around the yard tonight, to water and dead-head the flowers but my eyes were on the hills, not so much the tasks at hand. Just waiting to see what fuzzy beast climbs out of the shadows next.

And no, David- whatever comes out of that woods, it's not gonna poop on you. Not on my watch.

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