A Most Unusual Visitor

From a distance, she looks sweet and cuddly, but I don’t want to get too close.
So there was a bear in the yard. For those who know that I live in the woods, it seems obvious that a bear in the yard is more likely than not, but after four years without any bears this one came as quite a shock.

I was gazing out the kitchen window the other morning and out crawled a bear from the breezeway that separates the back door from the garage. I may go in and out of that door several times a day, and after an uneventful first year in the woods, I stopped peeking out to see what manner of wildlife is on the porch waiting to greet me. At first I thought it was – well, I don’t know that I thought it was anything. I saw movement, and then a mass of black. A pair of St. Bernards  had been by recently, and there is a pair of black dogs that shows up from time to time. I guess I thought it was a big dog, but I figured out rather quickly that this was a bear!

A friend asked me what I would have done if I’d been outside working when it came along. I have no idea, but inside the house I can tell you that I stood as still as I could lest the creature take notice of me beside an open window and decide to find out what kind of food I was making that day. Recent news stories about the couple who surprised a bear in their kitchen, and another of a cub stretched across the sinks in a Montana ladies room were running through my head as I watched the curious creature sniff around and meander about as if he or she owned the place. I had the violated feeling that I was being burgled.

The bear took its time and stopped along the way to admire some chairs and a couple of yard ornaments as though it were checking out the merchandise at the garden center. It was thoughtful enough to walk around borders and beds rather than through them on its way to the back deck. I remained still. The last thing I needed was for the curious bear to crawl up the deck and hoist itself over the railing. A few minutes later, I caught sight of it down the slope. It admired the apple tree nearest the house, and decided to swing on some lower branches of the largest conifer on the place. Seeing that I cannot reach those same branches from the ground, this wild beast stretched to an impressive height once it decided to unfold.

I finally had the presence of mind to snap a photo, but he was on all fours again and about to head down a distant trail. He looks like a cute cub in the shot, but he was not anything I want to encounter without a barrier between us.

I have a book that explains the lore and lessons of wildlife visits. Each time I encounter something new, such as the wolves that I thought were coyotes, and the owl that perched outside the bedroom window for a few hours one morning, I read about my visitor to see if I should be listening to a hidden meaning. The bear’s message was pretty accurate, and since I was the only one that day to see it, I want it to know that I’ve taken the symbolism to heart. I understand completely, and there’s no reason to return.

© 2019 by Patrick Brown

To learn more about my books, especially the two featuring Maggie Lyon, visit my author page at: http://www.amazon.com/Patrick-Brown/e/B005F0CYH2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1419885131&sr=8-1


5 Replies to “A Most Unusual Visitor”

  1. Well, while I wouldn’t advise trying to become friends – [RE: “Don’t Feed The Bears”, ” Stay In Car”]…might want to heed what spirit-animals.com has to say about such an encounter: Bear Totem, Spirit Animal
    People with the black bear totem have a great deal of patience in manifesting their ideas and projects. They excel in waiting for just the right moment to spring them on the universe. Additionally, they have a great deal of confidence in who they are and where they are going in life. For the most part, they are an authority figure. Also, they are nurturing and protect all children well.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve seen bears in the wild, but this would have been disconcerting to me. Especially since it was on your property and so close to your house. So glad he/she didn’t trample your flower beds, that was rather courteous of them. I think I’d be carrying some kind of spray in case it should approach you while you’re outside……just in case. Glad they rambled off and didn’t cause any harm to you. That was my main concern. You describe it beautifully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have to admit that I have not worked in the garden since the intrusion. I’ve been using the rain as an excuse, but it’s the possibility of a bear.


  3. Holy moly Patrick!!! I’m so happy you are safe and kept your cool. I cannot imagine how I would have reacted. What an amazing experience to not only encounter but SURVIVE UNSCATHED physically!!! Mentally I’m not so sure. What a very interesting blog indeed. Your gift of conveying your experience in such detail kept me on pins and needles. Thank you for sharing. This was truly amazing to read!!
    Again I am so relieved you are safe!
    Love, Nancy

    Liked by 1 person

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