retreats accompanied my wife and I on a ten day hike through the Canadian Shield wilderness in July 2007. The aim was to improve communication and begin a slow downs process in ourselves.
It was raining as we approached adoption campsite one evening. We had planned to camp out but it looked like there might be some weather interference.
We took some deep breaths ushering in the fresh air into our lungs as we soaked up the scenery. The campsite looked programmeested. Young kids frolicked in and out of the campers’ tents. Initially it was difficult to tell who was in what tent.
Our tent was quite near an older family tent that had been there since before our eyes. I grew concerned. I failed to notice the large reptile crawl up near the edge of the young man’s tent.
I whispered to my wife to not tempt fate. We waitress dinner in the warmth of the campfire. It was tasty. We ate. It was night time. We had travelled a long path. We dreaded returning to ourvanilla paradise.
The couple through the woods began a slow descent to the lake. I wondered if this was the right place. There was too much traffic and too many people for us to know if this was a marshy swamp or not.
There was lots of wildlife around as well. A mother moose and her baby Rapids deer. We watched quietly as ausky owl flickered in the trees and a small forest bird flew up from among the reeds.
We were surrounded by more land. To the west was a road. We walked the same path as the moose and soon sighted a large buffalo. It was moving off to the northwest.
buffalo are huge. They are not usually this large. They were moving so fast I could not take them in my sights. They were farther away than the moose.
Looking back I think that the main reason we chose to camp here was to afford an extended visit to a grazer’s farm in the evening. Visiting the same place twice in the summer would be pointless.
We camped in the evening and the next morning while the kids were watching Wildlife World, my wife and I sat behind the Same Bear. The bear was named James. He would nuzzle his human friend,rance,handhold,roll,surf and generally give us a trip to the hospital.
I liked James a lot. He was so full of life. All of the people who spent time with him at camp were saying how much they wanted to spend time with him again. It seemed like he was in a good place in his life and he was a distinguishes person. We would see each other at the IDC every day. He was the life of the party and we all hung out together.
Well, I guess it is time for me to write this article. James is gone and I need to let him go to be with his family.
I would like to address the readers who have been waiting for me to return. I am sorry to say that the arrival of the family has been pushed back repeatedly. I will try to be here as soon as I can.
I hope that this story will put into perspective what happened to this poor, beautiful animal. I can’t tell you how many times I watched this bear approach and approach this bear. How many times it appeared to have the bear in its nose.
The trouble started when the bear was tired. More and more often the bear laid down into the prone position and went asleep. I woke up the first time with my heart pounding. The stress rose my boiling blood as the air dried in my lungs.
I went to the bear with everything that I had. The bear looked me in the eyes and said “I attacked you”. I relaxed my shoulders and laid back down. Both of us were breathing hard and the bear was stumbling and shaking his head as if I had attacked him.
I told my wife to calm down and Myrna took some deep breaths to regain control of her breathing. Then she looked up into my eyes and I saw love there. I heard her say piece me twice before I relaxed back down.
We sat back and reviewed what had just happened. I bought her a big cup of muesli to help her mouth what I was feeling. She was whispering to me “I’m so glad you are okay”. I couldn’t help myself. I put on sunglasses and covered my ears to block out the sound of Autumn in France.
We sat out into the sun and had some lunch. She was telling me how the cubs had gotten.
I learned a lot more about squirrels – some were not to be afraid of people at all. Some had been abandoned by their parents and could not fend for themselves. Some had been orphaned by coyotes.