Sunday, January 24, 2010

Black bear.....or not

First I will give you a tiny piece of history. Before retirement, I worked as a police and fire dispatcher and Sunday mornings were always very quiet and very boring. Sometimes we would hear from people, who although we doubted their sanity, we always had to check things out Many calls would give us a chuckle, and if it happened on a Sunday morning....well, it just was a bonus to break up an otherwise quiet day.

I will also tell you that its 40 degrees outside today, with showers and very windy.

So back to the present and the topic of my post. My daughter and her family live about a mile and a half from me. They live in a subdivision. It would not be described as "country" or even "rural" anymore....its the suburbs. About a year ago they started noticing a herd of deer coming through there. Sometimes there is only a couple and sometimes as high as 15 of them at once are walking around in the yards of the subdivision residents. Its a mystery where these deer come from. They sail over fences like they weren't even there. My granddaughter has gotten used to seeing them and also knows better than to go outside when they are around.

This morning she was looking out her bedroom window and suddenly started yelling to her mom that there was a black bear in the yard between their house and the house next door. What? My daughter rushed over to the window and looked where she was pointing. Sure enough....there was something big and black and it was moving. The bushes and trees kept her from getting a good look and she was afraid now to go outside. So she calls me. What do I do, what do I do. The old man next door might go outside with his little dogs and that bear will attack him. Do you know his phone number I ask. No, she says....I barely know his name....he's not sociable. She says I'll call the guy across the street and see if he knows it. Then she says, I'm going to call the police.....but I don't want them to kill this bear.

So while she calls our local police, I call the County, hoping to get ahold of Animal Control....even though I figured that, with all the recent budget cuts, on a Sunday they would be closed. Animal problems are not supposed to take place on the weekends.....we all know that! The County dispatcher had that tone in her voice that said "oh brother...I've got one that's missing a few cards".....but she humored me. ....and passed me off to our local department. I then called the department where I used to work and got ahold of one of my old co-workers.....actually, I trained him. I told him what was going on and asked if they still kept the list of DNR volunteers. They do and he gave me some numbers. Thank God I didn't have time to call them before my daughter called back with the end of the story.

The neighbor she called across the street went outside and looked over and he saw it too....so he went back in and called a bunch of other neighbors. They were coming out of their houses and going across the street to get a good view; some of them had long guns. By now our local police sent ONE female officer to check it out. My daughter was near panic by this time.....so afraid that this bear was going to ravage a dog or worse yet, a person who may just be going for a walk. She went with the officer to the location only to discover......a huge black piece of plastic that the old man next door had used to cover his woodpile....probably in anticipation of all the rain that's in the forecast for today. (heavy downpours) The strong wind was moving it around, had billowed it out and the bushes concealed enough of it that you couldn't really tell WHAT it was, other than big, black and moving. My daughter felt like a fool....she apologized over and over. The officer laughed and said that it was ok...."its SUNDAY and besides that it gives me something to tell my kids and future grandkids. This is a happy story". Then she looked down in the snow and said....''are these deer tracks?". Yep, my daughter says....we have all kinds of them that come through here. She said, "I can see that....I'm surprised".

I guess my little granddaughter figured.....if deer, why not a bear? She really did believe it was a bear. You just never know anymore. My first thought was that maybe one had escaped from a circus....we have traveling circuses that come through in the winter and set up INSIDE at the stadium that isn't that far away. The thing that struck me though is that we've encroached on wildlife so much....built up their natural habitat, taken their homes away.......where are they to go? If it really HAD been a bear, what would have happened then? I fear it probably would have been killed. I know we have coyotes here now and we never used to.

Anyway, I feel like a fool too. I called my ex co-worker and told him the details. He was laughing so hard he could hardly contain himself. Remember what I said about Sunday mornings? Anyway, I said.....now, Marty, this stays between just us at work and he said....ah yeah....sure...right. (gales of laughter). Oh boy....I'm in for it now. Anyway, it sure did liven up Sunday morning for more than a few people. Black bear, indeed!

21 comments:

dana said...

TOTALLY off subject here, but when I worked for the fire department (NOT a dispatcher) but when calls came into the office I HAD to dispatch. One day a call came in with a man screaming. I "thought" he said "I've got a pin in my dick". I dispatched the ambulance and wondered HOW I could phrase the reason. I mumbled something incoherent, sounding drunk in my effort. They returned an hour later laughing. The man had a BIC PEN stuck in his penis. He thought it would be cheaper than a viagra.

Holly said...

giggle. Glad it all turned out ok, and Dana? OUCH.

Sue From Florida said...

Well...it could have been a bear. We have them here, so why not? It is pretty funny Val. Nothing like a big black bear attack to liven things up on a dreary Sunday! I shouldn't gloat..but it was 76 and sunny at my house today, and not a bear or roaming tarpaulin in sight!

XO Sue.

Coffeypot said...

Well it was a bear (bare) piece of plastic.

Smocha said...

That's hysterical! That story is going to become a legend. :)


After Christmas,they were talking on the radio about the rediculous 911 calls during the holidays. one was from a lady who called 911 to say "that her cats behavior was ruining Christmas." :)


Fake bear , way more exciting :)

Jamie said...

Omgosh, I love it. Yep, this one will be hard to live down.

Happy MONDAY. Ugh. :)

Happyone :-) said...

Thanks for the smile on a Monday morning. I'm home waiting for a plumber to arrive!

Gypsy said...

Well look at it this way Val....you gave a lot of people something to smile about and even more people who are reading it now. That has to be a good thing right?

Sure you will never live it down at work but at least it had a happy ending and no-one, not even a black piece of plastic, got hurt. Tehe.

forsythia said...

So funny!! We live in the Baltimore-Washington suburbs. A few summers ago, a black bear was sited from time to time in various backyards. The "siters" were met with skepticism. He was first seen in Annapolis and gradually worked his way west. Finally he ended up searching the trash can in a backyard in Arbutus, MD. The animal folks shot him with a tranquilizing dart and transported him to an undisclosed location in western Maryland.

Margaret Hall said...

Well, it is BETTER to be CAUTIOUS than not, huh?...I enjoyed the story, and I was glad to see that the people that were to respond, actually responded!!!
Hope your friend doesn't laugh too much...*smile*...

glnroz said...

well, i COULD have been a bear. Can never be toooo careful,, :)

Christine said...

Whoops. Hate when that happens. :-)

Cheryl said...

The first thing that would have come to mind with me was, 'when this is over I'm gonna blog about it'! Great story. Great ending.

gayle said...

What a cute story and it will be so much fun to tell over and over!!

glnroz said...

dang,, I cant type,, should have read IT could have been a bear.. I aint no bear.. lol

Golden To Silver Val said...

Sorry, the Asian girlies, as well as some off the wall investment company, are trying to use my blog for free advertising again, so the comment word verification has to go up once more for a while. I know....I know...I hate it too.

Peruby said...

We had black bear sitings in our town last summer. Very scary especially if you have dogs or children. You can't be too careful.

This story also reminds me of the Gilligans Island episode where they mistake a white billowing parachute for a monster on the island.

My word verification is "fauckled" What the heck?

BREZZ said...

like cheryl-- that would be my first thought too--
boy i gotta blog about this!
:))

My Aimless Infatuation said...

I loved this post,sounds like something that I would do. Thanks so much for the follow. I was born and raised in Michigan,haven't been back in a long time,I still miss it. I will be looking forward to catching up on your blog.

Linda Medrano said...

I HATE it when that happens! LOL funny! What a hysterical and hilarious morning that must have been! Love it!

ordinaryjanet said...

funny story! I guess this is what they mean by "mass hysteria"! I hope next time there's a bear sighting you don't dismiss it as black tarp in the wind!