I’ve written before about the bears that often stop by our backyard. They have a trail, no a highway, through the clearing behind our house. We’ve actually come to enjoy our wild visitors. Last spring we watched Mama bring her three, tiny cubs around. We’d sit in the floor at our French doors and watch for as long as they stayed and played in the clearing.
It’s been over a year since those cubs were just handfuls of fuzz and now they’ve grown almost as big as Mama. Which means she’s booted them out to fend for themselves. We haven’t seen the yearlings in a couple of weeks, but Mama continues to visit solo. Well, not quite solo.
For the past two weeks Mama, who is no petite bear, has had a HUGE male following her everywhere she goes. He tops her by 100 pounds, easy. He’s a good four-feet tall standing on all-fours (we measured where he came to on the bird feeder pole) and his paws are about the size of my head. Eek!
I have to confess I was a little nervous the first time we saw him. Locked door? I can’t see as that would be much of a problem. Closed window? He could probably pop it open by accidentally leaning on it. But as we’ve watched we see that his focus is, shall we say, elsewhere. He doesn’t raid the feeders, he doesn’t mess with the grill or the garbage can. He just stands and gazes at . . . Mama.
I know bears aren’t like people. I know this is anthropomorphism at work. But I swear he looks forlorn. Woebegone. Dopey in love. Mama just goes about her business hardly giving him a second look. And if we make a loud noise in the house (which doesn’t phase Mama in the slightest) he’ll run for the woods like a scalded cat. He’s pitiful and I want to tell Mama to cut him some slack. Although I don’t have to raise a new litter of cubs every other year as a result of amorous advances . . .
Big Bruiser Bear reminders me that we can all be humbled. No matter how big or strong or smart, we can all be laid low–often by our own passions. None of us will ever master Life. And that may be a good thing. If I’m going to have a 300-pound bear in my backyard, I’d just as soon he’s a humble bear.