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Neither Hide nor Hair of a Bear

I think I’ve written about sitting on my sister-in-law Ruby’s deck before, but I thought I would mention in again, because it was one of the highlights of this past weekend in Vermont.

Ruby’s house is situated at the bottom of a wooded mountain. There is usually plenty of wildlife to observe. This visit, however, the area immediately surrounding the deck was eerily empty during the daytime. The reason was the absence of bird feeders.

Normally Ruby stocks three or four bird feeders, which attract a variety of our feathered friends along with an assortment of squirrels and chipmunks. Our dog, Tabby, is especially fond of chasing the squirrels. She’ll chase birds too, in a pinch, but Ruby would prefer she didn’t do that.

Unfortunately, the bird feeders also attract bears. One was even bold enough to come up on the deck and eat some of the cat food that was there. We’ve never seen a bear on any of our visits. I would be scared of a bear. I’ve read several Readers’ Digest Drama in Real Life stories about bear attacks. It is never good for the people involved.

Ruby’s bear has never bothered any people that we know of. After the deck incident, however, she emptied the bird feeders in hopes the bear would go elsewhere. It seems to be working, because we say neither hide nor hair of any bear.

After dark we did enjoy seeing a few foxes. Ruby threw out some cookies to entice them to come a little closer. Soon a fat raccoon appeared. He was not as shy and began hogging all the cookies. Ruby told us he usually does so.

I wanted to encourage the foxes to get some cookies. “Go, foxes,” I said. “Go! Go! Go!” Tabby, who had been nicely staying on the deck with us, thought I mean her and started for the stairs. We quickly called her back.

I’ll say this for dogs: they are very patient with what can only appear to be people’s inconsistency. We encourage her to chase squirrels but not birds or foxes. When we yell, “Go! Go! Go!” we usually mean her. But apparently not always. It turned out I had confused my dog to no purpose, because the raccoon got all the cookies anyways, the fat, greedy thing.

We enjoyed two nights of hanging out on the deck, taking in the scene. When we got ready to head for home on Sunday, I left Ruby some of Tabby’s food for the foxes (like the bear, Tabby preferred to eat the cats’ food). I suppose the raccoon will get it, but perhaps the foxes will at least get a nibble before he shows up. I hope Ruby is ready with the camera in case the bear returns.

2 responses »

  1. How awesome to attract bears, the most dangerous animal my garden attracts is the neighbours psychotic ginger cat.

  2. That’s bad enough! A bear MIGHT attack me; a cat will DEFINITELY mess up my sinuses.


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