I don’t like snakes. Spiders get squashed if they dare come around me, but bears?  Bears scare the heck out of me.

When I lived alone in a wilderness cabin, hiking was a daily pleasure.  One day, I tried a different path, going off up a mountain side and angling back into a gorgeous meadow filled with wildflowers.

And there was a scary rumbling, a warning of danger, go no further, there may be monsters.  I tried several times to wade through the head-high grass to see what was on the other side. Each time the noise filled my head, and I turned back.  I could feel something watching me, making shivers race up my spine.  Finally, I gave up and made my way home.

I think a mother bear was probably telling me to go away or she’d get me.  Never did see that bear, but I saw lots of tracks on those hikes, bear poop, too.

On one of those hot summer days, I also saw a herd of caribou.  I’m not kidding, they were truly caribou, about fifteen of them, trotting down the Montana wilderness road at a stately pace.  I think they had come from Canada, checking out their southern neighbor to see if they’d like living here.  They must have decided it wasn’t to their liking. I never saw them again.

Nan McKenzie, April 2017


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