I once worked for the Post Office. So, of course I was accustomed to checking letters to make sure that they had the proper postage on them. So on a June day, I guess I walked right passed a giant black bear because I was too busy checking the mail for postage, while I was walking toward the mail box. As I got closer to the mail box, I noticed that the trash can was open and thrown on the ground. And of course that was most likely a sign that a bear had been looking in it for food. But just then I heard footsteps coming toward me from behind.
I turned around to look behind me, and there she was. A giant black bear eye to eye with me. This was the first time I had ever been face to face with a black bear. But people I knew had told me that if you ever see a black bear never run away. They said you could never out run a black bear, and running would most likely make them angry. So walking away from them very slowly would be the best thing to do. I also knew that black bears come out in June looking for mates.
So by the look of the loving gaze in this black bears eyes, I could tell that she was a woman and looking for a mate. So, I did the best I could to gaze back into her very beautiful eyes and express that I meant her no harm, but that she might be looking for someone with just a little bit more hair than me to mate with. At least I thought that was a better idea than singing the Bob Dylan song to her called ‘It Aint Me Babe, It Aint Me Your Looking For Babe.” Of course I couldn’t be sure if she was a Bob Dylan fan, so I decided against that. So, for several seconds, I continued to show her friendlyness with my eyes.
I always believed that the eyes were the very windows to everyones souls, and I think this is universal even when it comes to animals. But, at least for that day, it was true. So still gazing into her eyes, I turned and slowly walked away, And as I walked away, I could here her footsteps heading back toward the woods. I picked up the trash can and hoped that she would find someone nice to mate with. It’s funny how with all our advances, that we sometimes forget that most animals really want the same things that we do. And that’s a happy life with a mate and putting food on the table for the kids. It’s just that bears can’t go the supermarket like we can, so our trash cans sometimes become their food source.
I’ve written this story to help give pepole an idea of what to do if they have a close encounter with a black bear. And that’s just walk away very slowly. Because we are encroaching more and more everyday in the places where beers live, I would expect that there will be more encounters to come, but that people should not panic.