Bear and Bare, Pt. 1
Eve Dew Crook
I’ve read that pets in romance novels attract readers, but that wasn’t on my mind when I included Oxy Moron, a pet lizard, into Taking the Tumble. He somehow landed there right from my subconscious and plays a small but significant part. Speaking of animals, however, I could tell a few stories.
We built our vacation house in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania several years ago and moved in before the plumbing arrived. A little chemical toilet was placed by the porch back stairs. One full moon night I went out to use the facilities. I had just pulled down my pajama bottoms when I heard a noise by the garbage can. A black bear was clawing at the heavy elastic that held down the cover. We stared at each other for a moment that felt like an hour. Then, to my surprise, she waved a paw at three little cubs I hadn’t noticed hiding behind her. They ran to a nearby tree and clambered up clumsily, the bottom one climbing right over the first two to get farthest away. It was like watching an old Keystone Kops routine.
Grabbing hold of my bottoms, I ran onto the porch and watched as the mother bear ripped off the garbage can cover and ate her messy meal before calling the cubs down for their share and then ambling away. The next time I saw her is tomorrow’s tale.