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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Close Encounters of the Bear Kind

Last week my daughter and I had a picnic on our back porch, one that almost made us late to her soccer game. On our way down the hill I thought, "Huh, I didn't close the window. I should turn around and make sure the door was shut too."

Too late. Soccer was starting!

I wasn't concerned with anyone breaking in, but there's always the possibility of a bear meandering through the yard. But seriously, it's not like a bear was going to break into our house to eat the scrumptious butterscotch coconut cookies we'd left on the counter.

So I watched the monkey score a goal in her game and we happily chattered all the way home, only to discover giant gashes in the window screen and the back door open.

I might have freaked out.

The cookies were untouched, so this had just happened. The house was quiet, but bears can be stealthy.

I called my husband at work. No answer. I called my father (who has guns). No answer. I called my friend (whose husband has guns). She asked if I was sure it wasn't some other animal.

Um... what other animal makes giant gashes (we're talking six inches here, people) and shreds a screen?

I freaked out a little more.

Finally got a hold of husband--he said he'd come right home. (No, I didn't want to check the entire house for a bear with a four-year-old in tow).

Then I saw a tiny pile of black pellets on the ground. Curiouser and curiouser... My computer was upstairs (and I wasn't going there), but I googled "squirrel poop" on my phone...

And lo and behold, but there was a picture of the same little black pellets. A squirrel calling card, if you will.

Moral of the story? Don't feed squirrels macadamia nuts and then stop feeding them. Apparently they get a little irked and are quite good at impersonating bears.