Bear Bait

CANADA.  As those who have read TATTOO would know, I harbor a non-budging dichotomy of emotions toward bears. For the most part, I would love to encounter a bear one-on-one in the wild. But when I am close to them in the wild, I panic and hope to avoid any bear. It is that fine line between curiosity and fear.

I have attended National Park Service presentations on Grizzly Bears. I have listened to tales about hunting Polar Bears in the Artic. I have experienced jealousy toward my neighbors lucky enough to have a bear frequent their bird feeder. I watch bears play at zoos. I like bears. Finally in Canada, in British Columbia, I did see a bear, face to face and in the wild. But I was with six other people and we quickly bolted ourselves in our van. Does that count?

Once again, I found myself alone in bear territory hoping to see a bear. I had come from British Columbia. The newspaper there told how the schools in the town of Fleetwood were on bear watch. Now, I was in Vancouver. The newspaper that morning had a darker article about bears. A couple, in their 80s who had spent much time hunting in the wild, were in the news: the wife was mauled by a bear; the husband chased off the bear and went for help; when he returned, he found the bear had returned first and killed his wife!

As I lounged by the brook, listening to its steady gurgle and admiring the surrounding green, I suddenly became alert. The fresh bear scat along the path was something I had seen on other days. But now, it gave me pause. I was no longer enjoying the peace and quiet. Instead, I felt vulnerable and far away from help. I arose, and I walked and walked until I could see a road. Somehow, I still feel fond of bears.

Bear in British Columbia

Bear in British Columbia


This bear wasn't interested in me.

This bear wasn’t interested in me.


Bear in Vancouver

Bear in Vancouver

TATTOO—Journeys on My Mind by Tina Marie L. Lamb is available at Amazon and BarnesandNoble.

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