Dorothy should have been at my house yesterday. In her red shoes. On the yellow brick road. Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion tagging along.
The Wizard of Oz has always been one of my favorite movies of all time. When I was a child, I always watched it every time a television station broadcast it, usually at Thanksgiving. My kids grew up watching it as well.
We often got a kick out of singing, “Follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road, follow, follow, follow …” in our best munchkin voices. One of the lines from the movie that has stuck with me over the years is when Dorothy and her odd friends chant, “Lions and tigers and bears…oh my!”
I had an “Oh My!” moment yesterday on Page 1, Chapter 9, in my Opportunity book. On my front porch.
Hubby arrived home from work, changed his clothes, and ventured off to his civic club meeting. Home alone for a couple of hours, with just kitty for company, I decided to phone one of my best friends, Leigh, and chat awhile. My front porch swing beckoned me, so I grabbed a glass of iced tea, my cell phone, and dialed her.
We chatted and gabbed and talked….as we always do….for quite some time. Still full daylight, dusk wasn’t falling yet, and I fully intended to stay parked on the swing in the cool evening air discussing life with my long-time friend until one of two things occurred – either darkness descended or hubby came home.
But my porch swing reverie was cut short when I experienced a major “OH MY!” moment. Right in the middle of an interesting story Leigh was telling, I noticed my cat scurrying from the sidewalk onto the porch. I thought it was odd that she was kind of slinking along and came immediately to me. Then I saw it. OH MY!
A black snout emerged from around the corner where our front porch meets the garage. My first thought was “Whose big black dog is running loose?”
Then I felt those fingers of fear gripping me and it felt like my heart jumped into my throat when I realized it wasn’t a dog! That snout belonged to a really large head and that head was attached to an animal way too big to be a canine. It was a BEAR!
A black bear lumbered into full view about 40 feet or so from where I sat. OH MY! I literally froze on the swing, whispered into my cell phone in a tiny, quiet voice, “I’m not going to talk because I’m freaking out right now.” Leigh said, “What’s wrong?” And I couldn’t answer as I sat perfectly still, eyes locked on that black creature.
The bear took a couple steps, looked right at me, and back tracked a step or so. I was terrified it was going to come up on the porch when it took another step forward. Right then, a neighbor across and down the road from our house, started mowing along his steep driveway. The noise of his tractor evidently frightened the bear enough that it retreated and disappeared around the corner of my garage. OH MY!
I gathered up enough wits to grab my iced tea (didn’t want to entice that bear ONTO the porch for something sweet) and to sprint to the front door, rush inside the house – the cat beat me in though! – and lock the door. Once inside, heart pounding and feeling totally incredulous, I told Leigh, “Oh. My. Gosh. I just saw a BEAR in my yard!”
And then she freaked out and, good friend that she is, listened as I gushed frantically about what just transpired and how it scared the daylights out of me! OH MY! I nervously looked out my windows, but the bear wasn’t in the front yard. I went to the back of the house, looked out the kitchen windows, still babbling – probably incoherently – to my friend. No bear there either.
Where did it go? I can only assume it hurried down the hill behind my house and into the brush. It seemed gone, but I fought off fear that it would come back. Leigh was just relieved that I wasn’t going crazy or seriously harmed or something. She laughed to calm my nerves and jokingly told me at first she couldn’t figure out what she had said that freaked me out so much. OH MY!
Needless to say, I stayed in the house until hubby came home then repeated my “OH MY” moment for him. I told him I thought my heart might have finally started beating normally, but that my “OH MY” moment had startled the heck out of me. He couldn’t believe it either. We’ve lived in this house for over 11 years now, and we have never, ever seen a bear in our yard – lots of other critters, never a bear!
We suspect this creature of the wild had visited our garden and was making its way to a scrumptious treat on the other side of our house. That’s where the raspberry bushes are and they just started producing their second crop of berries.
As I’m writing this post, I’m discovering two things. First, I didn’t have my camera on the porch with me, so I don’t have a picture of my visitor, so this picture I found will suffice (it looked just like this!).
And secondly, I don’t want to feed the bears!!! I don’t want them visiting my yard or coming so near my house for a free lunch! I prefer seeing bears from a distance or at the zoo, not a few feet from my front porch swing!
And I’ll tell you another thing….it’s bad enough being startled by a bear….but if I see a lion in my yard…or a tiger….I’m moving!! Lions and tigers AND bears?? OH MY! Dorothy, move over, I’m coming back to Kansas.