Garden tours and yard updates are a regular occurrence when visiting my parents; Bill and Rosie have a large, wooded property with meticulously maintained gardens. I’m no fan of the great outdoors, but I’ll put up with the occasional nature walk in exchange for a good meal. It was during one of those post-meal yard updates that Rosie told us all about a rabbit that had been turning up in her yard. And though she was concerned that the rabbit might be munching on her perennials, she admitted that she quite looked forward to seeing it each day. So, when Rosie lead 2.0 and I out to the yard, I wasn’t really surprised when she started running toward a rustling in the shrubs. She was looking for her new best friend – the rabbit. “There’s the bunny!” Rosie Beaucoup yelled, pulling me by the arm toward the noise.
Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, I can vaguely recall overhearing some men next door shouting about a bear. But this didn’t really register with me until I was running from a bear. I had been running toward a bear because Rosie Beaucoup was telling me to run toward a bunny. This was a big mistake. This mistake occured because my mother couldn’t see the gigantic black bear standing just ahead of her in the bushes. So, though hindsight is 20/20, Rosie Beaucoup’s eyesight is not.
When Rosie Beaucoup yelled, “Oh my God, that’s a bear!” I was, needless to say, scared shitless. Rosie Beaucoup, 2.0 and I were now about 20 feet from a very large black bear. And when Rosie started to run, I followed (again). Because (apparently) when Rosie Beaucoup runs, I run. I could hear Rosie’s feet pounding the ground ahead of me. I could also hear my heart pounding loudly between my ears.
When Rosie Beaucoup, 2.0 and I were safely in the house watching the bear dismantle some bird feeders, I suddenly remembered the stories I’d heard about bears crashing through living room windows. In fact, Rosie once told me about a man forced to shoot a bear in his dining room after it crashed through his patio door one Thanksgiving. But I didn’t mention this to Rosie, because our bear looked like he might be headed up the back stairs.
Obviously, we survived. We outran a bear, and no, I don’t need you to remind me that sprinting from a bear goes against wildlife protocol. There is nothing instinctual about laying down and letting a bear sniff you for a while. You run from it, goddammit.
When driving home later that evening, 2.0 seemed miffed.
2.0: You left me behind!
2.0: You ran into the house! You and your mother didn’t even look back. You didn’t check to see if I was there. You left me with the bear!
movita: I knew you were there. You’re very fast and agile.
2.0: Pfffft. You didn’t know I was there. I could have tripped! That bear could have been eating me!
movita: No. I sensed you were there. I knew you were right behind me. That’s how love works – I would have felt it if you were being eaten. Besides, I’m sure I checked to see if you were there.
2.0: I don’t think so, sister. You didn’t look back. And your mother sure didn’t. I know because I WAS BEHIND YOU!
I resisted the urge to point out that if Rosie Beaucoup had looked back, she wouldn’t have seen him anyway.