Nothing good, only bills, in the stack of yesterday’s mail I flipped through on my way back to the house. The Fall air was crisp. Columns of steam curled from the frost covered grass where rays of morning sun danced through the trees.
I sensed a presence long before I saw him blocking my path to the back door. Terror froze time. Our eyes locked. Does he smell my fear? I thought of running but there was no place to go. In seconds he could attack and I would be dead.
As if by an unspoken agreement of mutual respect, the bear turned to his right and lumbered down the hill to the next house. His slick black coat glistened in the sunlight when he stood on his powerful hind legs and shook the pear tree with his front paws until a shower of fruit fell at his feet. Like a toddler, he plopped on his bottom and ate the pears one by one until his belly was full.
That was my first encounter with the Granddaddy of black bears who caused the neighbors to buzz. Humans can purchase a piece of property, but do not own the Earth. Nature’s creatures roam free. Man is the intruder.