Once I saw a bear dragging the black plastic garbage bag across the road, walking backwards—exactly like a bankrobber backing out of a bank, with a bag of money and a revolver.
Now we live in Phoenicia, where once a bear entered our house. This sounds like a tall tale, but one morning my wife was at the computer, writing an article about bears, who had recently become more aggressive in the area. (Violet’s a reporter for the Woodstock Times.) She heard some small sounds in the kitchen, and thought: “Sparrow’s up early!” After the sounds persisted, she stood up, to find a yearling just inside the house, patiently trying to open a small bale of dried alfalfa—food for our rabbit. Violet shrieked, and the bear retreated.
Since then, my wife decreed that no scraps of fruit shall be placed in our compost pile until December, when the bears are asleep. Since then, we’ve had no ursine guests.
But we see bears all the time, in Phoenicia, rifling through the dumpsters behind Brio’s—looking for pizza!