Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bear Tales

I used to install and train pharmacy computer systems back in my younger days and was able to travel to many different states and spend a week at a time in the various locales. One thing I enjoyed the most was talking to the local people and getting a taste and feel for their area. One time I was in Minnesota, right on the Canadian border and the pharmacy I was working in had an old timey soda fountain. One morning I had the opportunity to listen to some older men telling bear tales. Well, there's not much of a chance of hearing bear tales in Texas so I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

So, fast forward 20 years or so and I took the day off to take Ryan and Emma canoeing on the Blue River in Southern Indiana. Not knowing if the water was swift or not I left my glasses in the van, I didn't want to take the chance of breaking them. That was an unfounded concern though because the water was very shallow, so shallow in fact that we had to get out several times and carry the canoe along. It was hotter than blue blazes that day too, the hottest day in this area in a long - long time. At some point during the day Ryan told me that he saw a bear up on a ridge. Of course I couldn't tell, I couldn't see well enough to tell. But it was plausible.

Toward the end of our trip, we're floating merrily along and I see a log in the water that looks like it has ears. My first thought is that I wish I had my nice camera with me, that would be one of those cool shots of something that looks like something else. Ryan notices it about the same time and by this time we're fairly close and it's not a log. It's a bear! Ryan swears it's a bear, but yet it didn't move - didn't even really look our way. All you could see was the head sticking out of the water and it wasn't moving a muscle. We start back peddling in a major kind of way and along come some more boats - those guys see the bear and they stopped as well. So here we are pulled over on the opposite side of the river, Emma is FREAKING out in a major kind of way. Crying. Flailing her little hands around. Telling me she's never seen a bear in her entire life. Tells me to call the police. Call the people we rented the canoe from. Call someone! She was scared and she wanted me to call someone to fix it!

After we had been there for a while, and I had prayed with Emma and gotten her calmed down a bit I tried to talk Ryan into us going on ... we'd just stay on our side, the animal could stay on its side. But Ryan refuses to help me paddle on past the bear. I told him that even if it was a bear, if it was going to attack - it would have already because we had gotten really close.

Not sure how long we stayed there with the other families but eventually the bear starts moving. Very slowly and he starts climbing out of the water on his side of the river ... but it wasn't a bear. It was a great big ol' dog that even had a collar on!

Now how is that for a bear tale?! Or at least a Kentucky version of one.

Talking with Emma about it later and trying to explain to her how important it is to remain calm, she tells me that it was a miracle. God turned that bear into a collar wearing dog!

Bless her itty bitty bones.


Teresa said...

Perhaps contacts might be in order? Hilarious!!

rachel.a.rasmussen said...

Love this story. When I was a senior in college a bunch of us "city girls" decided to go camping. Some local boys apparently saw us and realized we were not the outdoorsy type, so they pulled a prank and once we went inside our tent, they became "bears". They made bear growls with a orange cone and stringe and stomped around in the woods. We were petrified. After sitting still for 45 minutes, they finally decided to "rescue" us from the bear and chase it off. We met them and thanked them.

Then I put two and two together :)

Anonymous said...

What a funny story, I would have loved to been there for that one. At least you all weren't the only ones who thought it was a bear. That's a great story...

Virginia said...

That is hilarious, but poor little Emma. Must've been one very big dog. =)

Diane and John said...

What a scare for all of you...especially without your glasses...I loved the story and Emmas comment!

Lindsay said...

That was a very interesting story. I live in milltown so i have been down that river many times. While I have never seen a big dog in the river I have seen cows in the river. While i was reading this I thought you were going to say it was a cow at the end. But it kind of suprised me that it was a dog. Its not unusual for dogs to be that big around here.