Friday’s Weekend Column
A Bear Day

by James Glaser
August 13, 2004

Last Friday was my first day with the cane. Today I can walk up and down stairs (it is scary) and I can walk about a third of a mile at a time.

I walk right down the middle of our gravel road as that is the most level section and just kind of listen for any cars or trucks coming. I make five walks a day and on most, I am the only one on the road.

Just now I was walking west and when I got to a wooded section two bear cubs walked out in front of me. Actually they were running and when they saw me, one tumbled into the other and they came to a stop. Think bear cubs, and think Mama Bear. Think Mama Bear and think this is not good.

I can walk pretty good now with that cane, but there is no way that I can break into a run. I quick like made a u-turn and started moving out as fast as I could. I looked back and those cubs were coming my way playing with each other. I didn't want to fall so I kept the same pace and I was heading for a car parked at my neighbors about two hundred feet away, hoping it was unlocked.

When I got to the edge of that wood line, I looked down it and I could see Mother coming out of the woods and walking on all fours toward me. When I was about 75 steps down the road she made a grunt that sent those two cubs up a tree. The wind was blowing toward me, so she just kind of sat there as I kept moving off.

I never broke stride to get to the neighbors car and when I was back to my International pickup, I stopped to look back and she was still there, now under the cub tree standing on her back legs looking toward me. She called them back down and went back in the woods.

Even though I live next to the lake and there are cabins all along this north shore, one should never forget that we live in the woods and we don't live here alone. With the cane I am not as fast as I was before the accident, but I bet if someone had seen me moving away from that bear, they would have said that I was one fast man with a cane or not.

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