30. May 2012 07:18
Earlier this afternoon, I checked the website of a local TV news station to catch up on the latest happenings. There were the usual stories (car crashes, drug busts, and the like) but the Big Story was the sighting of a bear in a town about an hour from here. I wouldn't have bothered even checking this out, but my husband and older son work in that town, so curiosity got the best of me.
They sent out the news helicopters because one small, scrawny bear was wandering around in a wooded area near a shopping center.
That kind of thing is an everyday occurrence in the northwest corner of the state, where most of my family lives. When my sister's kids were in kindergarten, their school trained the children in the proper procedures to follow if a bear was spotted. This involves abandoning your lunchbox and running for the school building.
My niece came home from school after hearing this and informed her parents that she needed two sandwiches in her lunch for the rest of her educational career, because she wasn't sacrificing her lunch to some hungry bear. Better to bring extra, just in case.
And in my parents' neighborhood, you can't put your trash or recycling bins out until the morning of collection, because bears might get into them. Bear-proof trash bins are big sellers in their neck of the woods. Mom calls me every so often to tell me that they saw a bear near their back deck or behind the Dairy Queen, but they never get a picture. (Maybe they should call for some news helicopters.)
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