Wednesday, July 03, 2019

The "Bear" Necessities Require Closing the Door

I blame my husband who just yesterday was lamenting that he never saw any wildlife when he was hiking.
That day as we were walking home from the mailbox at our rural Berkshires (Massachusetts) housesit, we saw a fox in the middle of the road, and he got nervous because the cats were out and about. We had left the back door open during the 20 minute walk so the dog could go out if she needed it. But I shrugged off Earl's worry about the fox. I had seen two foxes the week before on an early morning run in Florida. They were young and they both stopped in the middle of their playful games to stare at the lights on my shoes. 
A fox that stopped to check me out during a predawn run in Florida
So last night, we gathered the animals in around 8 p.m., as we usually do. Jenny the arthritic dog, and the two young cats, Kepler, black, sleek and obviously a hunter, Tanna, a bit chunky mottled color and satisfied to lie around and be petted.
The dog and two cats followed me on an attempted run up the mountain yesterday. 
We closed off the cat door and pushed the back door closed  without latching it. 
The owners had already told us that the dog could push inside the back door since it doesn't close well.
Earl and I were sitting at the kitchen table when I saw a black and brown head appear in the window of the kitchen door.
A bear!
Just checking things out. Not really afraid. 
I jumped up and ran to the door, wondering what I would do if the bear pushed the door open before I got there. Could I get away from it? Why wasn't my husband running to protect us from the bear?
That's when I heard him.
"Wait! You'll scare it! I want to get a picture."
Are you kidding me? I wanted to scare it.
He had hesitated to grab his camera so he could record the event.
He was right that, thankfully, I did scare the bear. It went lumbering across the yard, but not at a fast pace.
And the picture of the bear slowly peeking into the glass of the back door will remain etched in my mind -- like a scene from Goldilocks, but opposite. The bear was just checking to see if we were home.
The backdoor view from the kitchen table. I will forever picture a bear's face in the bottom right. 
When we took over this housesit, the owners told us they left the doors open all the time (not unlocked, but open) and they weren't even sure if there was a key to the house.
That same day, we had driven an hour away to a grocery store and simply left the back door open for the dog to go in and out. I wondered if the bear had been by earlier casing the joint.
So we locked the door last night, the only way to latch the back door.
This morning though, the door is open again to let the fresh 80 degree air in, and the front door is wide open too.
An open door leading to peaceful woods for all mosquitoes and wild animals to enter. 
Hopefully, the bear won't return, but if it does, I'm afraid it might find an open-door policy. 


Unknown said...

I would have gone for the camera as well!! Just remember that you can run faster than Earl :)

Latane Barton said...

Oh my gosh... how long are you housesitting for? I'd run... I really would.

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Paulita said...

You always wonder what your reaction would be. Glad I didn't freeze up.
Thanks for commenting Unkown and Latane.

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