So, it’s sometime after one in the morning on Tuesday, and I can’t sleep. I decide to check my phone (I was expecting an email) while I was up.
The first thing I see is a text from my honorary son Paul asking, “Are you still up?”
Given the hour, I was a little concerned, so I shot back, “Are you OK?”
His next text simply said, “Call me.”
No parent wants to get a message to call their child at that hour. Imagining car wrecks and other disasters, I phoned him.
Paul tells me that he came by the house late to pick up some clean clothes (he does laundry at our place). When he got to our house, he was surprised (and alarmed) to see an adult black bear rooting through our trash.
OK. Of all the things I was thinking, that wasn’t one of them.
Paul and his car apparently scared the bear off, sending it scampering into the woods. Paul broke speed records getting his laundry and then hurried back to the safety of his apartment, when he decided to let me know what had happened.
I woke up Don — I felt as wife this was a “wake your husband” story — and let him know we had trash all over our driveway. Paul further informed us that the evidence showed the bear had been chowing down on some Five Guys fries someone apparently put in our trash can.
That last bit of news was a surprise. I mean, the bear was kind of a surprise, but really shouldn’t have been. We live near Highlands Hammock State Park, where black bears live. But seriously, who throws away Five Guys fries?
Don decided, despite the hour, that he should go out and pick up the trash. I was a little nervous about that — what if the bear came back? — but he managed to get things cleaned up without incident. Fortunately, the trash can the county provides wasn’t damaged, and things were apparently set to rights.
Then I started wondering if I needed to alert anyone to the fact we’d had a visit from a bear. One of our county commissioners suggested I call the non-emergency number for the sheriff’s department and check.
The lady I talked with was very kind but told me there was really no one to report this to. No one had been hurt, so there was nothing that could be done. Oh, and there was a chance the bear could come back since it had found food.
That was unwelcome news. So I am waiting for a call from the company that collects our trash to find out if we can get a bear-proof trash can.
And the fries? A young man living with us confessed to putting the bag of fries in our trash. He’s a nice guy and usually intelligent, so we’re giving him a pass on throwing away perfectly good fries.
Two remaining thoughts about this incident as I wrap up this column:
First, I found myself craving Five Guys on Tuesday. I indulged in it for dinner, and you can bet I chowed down on fries.
And second, I teach a Ladies Bible Class on Tuesday mornings. We’re going through the book of Proverbs. The first verse we considered (and I didn’t plan it this way) that morning? Proverbs 17:12. It reads, “Better to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than a fool in his folly.”