An Unnerving Experience

It was a warm and sunny spring afternoon. I had most of the wood I would need for next winter all cut, split and in the drying racks. I had already spread composted chicken manure on the garden spot and had to wait for the weather to warm up and for Finley to come over and till the ground. I had the garden tractor/lawn mower all serviced and ready for summer use. The Pickle Queen didn’t have any pressing jobs that needed doing, so I had some time to spare. What to do? The hunting club in the neighborhood had gotten pictures of a mountain lion this past fall not very far from us at all. Although the bears are becoming active already this spring, I said to myself, “Why not take a little walk about and see if I might see that cougar.”

I was walking on an animal trail back of the house, following the river downstream.  I was climbing up out of a hollow when I heard a noise behind me. I turned around to see an angry gigantic black bear charging toward me. I started running, but the bear kept getting closer and closer. As I neared the top, I looked back and tripped on a root sticking out of the trail. The bear caught up, pinned me to the ground, gave an angry growl that showed me a mouth full of teeth. He lifted a clawed paw to strike and rip me apart. I knew what that guy felt like in The Revenant. I was breathless and my mouth was so dry that I couldn’t even spit, but I managed to shout out, “Oh God, someone please help me!”

Just then everything froze. A white light appeared above me, and I heard a voice say, “So, you wonder if there is a God, Jesus or divine intervention with things being like they are in Washington DC; I’ll give you this one last chance to change your ways.” I thought it over for a moment, then said, “Although you haven’t done it with our present administration, couldn’t you change the bear so he would be kinder and more thoughtful towards humans?” The voice then said “If that is your desire, so be it!”.

The light disappeared and everything in the woods started moving again. The bear went calm, got off and sat down beside me, brought both paws together, bowed his head, and started to say a prayer – “Dear God, thank you for this meat I’m about to consume…”

And then it happened. That feeling that a lot of guys get a couple of times a night (No, not that one!). Mother nature was calling. I woke up and sat on the edge of the bed to get my wits about me before heading off to the latrine. You know how sometimes you want to pick a dream back up where it left off before “the calling”? That thought never crossed my mind that night. Just another night on the Massanutten.

Keep your fork



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