Thursday, June 10, 2010
Alphabe Thursday.....U is for Ursa
It is once again Alphabe Thursday hosted by Jenny Matlock at http://jennymatlock.blogspot.com
Good evening Mrs. Matlock....How was your day? I am ready to give my take on the letter U...I didn't bring you any offering today. I hope you understand and don't take umbrage with it......
U is for Ursa....Latin for bear. There also are constellations, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor....When I was a little kid I was fascinated by the sky and spent a lot of time looking into my telescope finding the great bear in the sky....He looks like this:
This U post is an Ursa story though....A real bear story.
I grew up on the Oregon Coast in a place called Rockaway Beach...We lived a few blocks from the ocean and a few blocks from the mountains...It was a great place to grow up. Small town values, everyone knew everyone, lots of kids and Natures playground....One of my favorite places to play was in the woods...I have always had an active imagination. ( my mom would've said too active.) It could and did turn into a whole different world....I was the boy in "my side of the mountain", or I was in Switzerland wandering the Alps....you get the picture....Now to get to the woods you walked East and then the pavement turned to gravel as you passed the last developed block. My sister Cindy and I weren't allowed to go past the logging gate, but we found a trail along the side of the gravel road....It was bordered with trees and you had to really look to see the entrance...We would leave the road and enter the path....The sunlight barely came thru the fir trees and you couldn't hear our footfalls as the trail was padded with pine needles...We would eat salmon berries and red huckleberries and play wildlife explorers...Our dog, Chopper would come along and enjoy his romp through the woods. Then we would get to the best part....The creek...Fresh water with a gravel bottom and a miniature water fall....in an instant in my eyes it became Niagara Falls, or a tributary of the Amazon...We made homemade fishing poles and fished (without bait) or we caught crawdads...It was paradise, my secret place. Now technically, we weren't breaking any rules, but my dad wouldn't have been happy we were playing back in there either...I was nine and my sister was seven and I am sure I threatened her not to tell...or bribed. My dad was super overprotective and in his mind, danger was lurking everywhere. So one day off we went on another grand outdoor adventure, Chopper in tow. We took off down the trail without a care in the world. We got to the creek and all of a sudden, Choppers ruff went up and he started growling..I got nervous....my sister was jabbering away oblivious so I put my hand over her mouth to listen...I didn't hear anything but I smelled something terrible...I looked across the creek on the other side of the trail and found myself looking into a bears face....As I was taking this in my sister bit my hand and yelled, "PEEEEYewwww...something stinks..." The bear moved and she heard it and it changed to a scream of terror. (so much for backing away quietly.) Now in Oregon the bears aren't big....They are not grizzlies by any means but when you are 9 and weigh about 50 pounds they are HUGE! I pushed her and we ran....as fast as our little feet could move....the bear was running beside us and our dog, the hero was keeping himself between us and the bear. He was half Samoyed and had a big neck ruff which the bear would bite at but couldn't get a hold of...we came out the trail entrance with the dog and the bear...My sister had both hands in the air running and screaming at the same time...I was just running...We shot down the gravel road, hit the pavement and eventually ran right into our yard...The dog and the bear were still on the road. I shot thru the door, screaming "murder, bear, dog!" " Chopper, bear, call the police HELP!!!!".....My mom came out from the bathroom with curlers in her hand...not even a look of concern on her face....She said, "Mindy, when are these stories going to stop...Last week it was piranha in the creek and before that it was killer bees and an ax murderer on the loose." My sister stood there speechless and I am sure somewhat shocky...some help she was...We heard a noise at the door and both ran screaming from the room...I may have bravely told my mom not to open the door from under the bed....She did, and there was Chopper not a scratch on him....I told the bear story over the next two days to everyone who would listen...Finally my dad was fed up and told me that it was enough about the bear...
When he said enough, he meant it....I couldn't believe it..The best adventure ever and I was labeled a liar. (storyteller?) That same night our neighbor up the street, a lady named Murphy who did hair called my mom...She lived on the corner of THE gravel road...The conversation went something like this...
"Linda? Hi it's Murphy.."
"you wont believe what I saw the other day in broad daylight!"
" I looked out my window because I heard noises and there was your dog Chopper fighting with a bear....right in front of my house...."
My mom let out a yell and hung up the phone! She called the sheriff, the fire department and the game warden......Me? Vindicated and with a great story to tell too..... The bear?
He went to a new home away from people.....
Life was sweet.