Huckleberries Online

SATURDAY, AUG. 12, 2006, 1:48 A.M.

Alice Rankin: Like Daughter, Like Mother

I had a close encounter with a mother bear last month. One evening about 7:30 PM, I walked out on my front porch/deck and walked over to the side by the patio. I wanted to look at my raised Earth Box planters with the lushly growing tomato plants. Suddenly, I noticed something, about the size of a small dog, walking straight toward me on the patio, about seven feet away. For a nano-second I asked myself, "What is that?" Then my brain screamed, "BABY BEAR, RUN!" I am sure I covered the distance to my front door in Olympic record time.

Safely indoors, I looked out my front window in time to see the mother bear, on all fours, emerge from behind the planter. She had been about ten feet away from where I had been standing, but out of my sight. I that baby bear had made a noise, or squeak, when he saw me, that mother bear could have been over that planter in the wink of an eye and I would have been hamburger!

We have lived here at Kidd Island Bay since 1974 and I have never seen a mother bear with a cub before. And I pray I never do again! There have been a number of lone, big, black bears here through the years, eating apples, pears, plums and berries. But always at a distance, which is how I like them. I have never really been afraid before.

So it looks like someone was watching over my daughter and me during our close encounters with the local wildlife.

Alice Rankin
Kidd Island Bay

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.