Did you ever play that game as a kid? Thar’s a Bar. Whar? Over Thar!
Here’s how it works: Everyone lines up side by side and the first person says, “There’s a bear!” with or without the hillbilly accent. The others say, “Where?” Then the first person in line gets down on one knee and points, yelling, “Over there!”
All the players follow suit, eventually down on one knee pointing over there. Rather than taking a knee, the last person shoves the guy or girl beside them and the entire line falls over like dominoes. Ha, ha, very funny…as long as no one gets hurt. And the last guy standing has to be in on the joke of course.
All that to say, there was a bear. Here.
Over the course of 3 to 4 visits he wreaked all sorts of havoc around our house: vinyl fence broken in several places, garbage strewn, freezer tipped over, lid broken clean off, more than 50 pounds of venison ruined, one box of Popsicles eaten and 24 sticks left scattered on deck, 1 window screen torn, 2 bird feeders destroyed, 1 bird house dismantled, 40 pounds of oiled sunflower seeds consumed and then deposited throughout the yard in a most unpleasant manner.
Okay, so our part in this debacle was feeding the birds. Who knew those seeds smelled so enticing to a bear?
We learned quickly and brought all the feeders and bird seed in at night, moving the bulk of the seeds to the back porch, which is surrounded by a railing and the afore mentioned vinyl fence with latched gates. Our efforts were to no avail. All the bear knew was — there’s some good eating at the Henning’s, and it’s worth the walk from the woods in the dark of night. Clearly he didn’t mind walking all around the house when the goodies weren’t readily available on the wide open front porch. It was worth busting up a bit of fence, and still worth his efforts after coming up empty on subsequent visits. Even worth the risk when humans flooded the back deck with lights and played a radio all night long. It was all worth it to Mr. Bear until…
We called the game warden. He brought a trap right away and baited it with donuts and ham. I told him our bear preferred Popsicles, but we weren’t sure how to serve those up frozen, what with our outdoor freezer being broken and all. No matter, the donuts worked fine last night.
I’m sure it was a frightening experience for the bear when that cage door slammed shut. I hope the donuts offered some consolation. By the time the game warden arrived our bear had settled in for his daytime snooze, clearly tuckered out by his harrowing experience. I felt bad when I heard the steel door bang shut. I felt bad looking in at the big guy with his black coat —
bearly barely visible through the little peek holes. I felt bad about him having to be relocated. But then again…there is the matter of lost venison, broken freezer, costly fence yet to be repaired.
Bye, bye bear. Please don’t find your way back to our house. Ever.