Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bear-Proof Fence

My wild ’n’ natural friend had a bear-proof fence installed around his backyard that’s nestled in the mountains. He said he kept moving his grill back and forth from his rear deck to the front, but wherever his grill went, the bear, and sometimes her cubs, would follow.

On special mornings when the bear’s tummy was growling, my friend would open his garage door to find her standing in front of him requesting breakfast. Being accommodating, he’d quickly close the garage door. Actually, he’s not really like that. I just think Mama Bear’s size reminded him of his ex-wife’s mother who broke their toilet seat, and he hoped the bear wouldn’t ask to use the facilities.

I suspect he, also, tired of Mama’s constant appeals, but given two children to feed this year and a gigolo boar who’d gone into the mountaintops to forage for younger, hairy sows, what choices did she have?

My friend’s bear-proof fence is made of thick, sturdy metal, though he assured me it doesn’t have spikes. Seeing an impaled animal for a later meal wasn’t on his list of fence functions, and around here, we hear of impaled-deer occurrences. Subsequently, the suffered aren’t later consumed, but wept over.

So when my surprised friend discovered the bear in his backyard again, despite his new, expensive fence, he wondered how the persistent beast entered. Did she scale the fence with its intermittent horizontal bars (which is what my friend would have done)? Did she get a running start, use a pole, and spring forward? Did she get a boost from a friend? Did she climb a tree and drop in? And if she did, how did she get back into the forest?

And why does his yard have such appeal?

“There’s a plum tree back there,” he told me. Itty-bitty plums, like my boobs. After all, this is Colorado, not Georgia. Being a health-conscious mom, and with all Mama Bear’s carnivorous fulfillment on Cheyenne Mountain, she knew she needed a balanced diet, particularly if she’s still nursing.

Going back in time, I’m sure my friend planted his plum tree thinking only of himself and not feeding the hungry, though he is of the thoughtful, God-like species. He had, perhaps, a plum pie or a scrumptious plum crisp in mind at seedling time.

But this is now, and Mama’s mate has done his seedling-ing, and she was hungry.

Aha! My friend watched the big ursine climb a large pine tree, reach over to his fence, and jump down, like Rambo or Arnold. He didn’t monitor her behavior and never saw her leave, so he’s unsure of her exit strategy, but I vote helicopter. After all, we’re talking Broadmoor bear here.

“Now that I know how she’s getting in, how can I keep her out?” my desperate friend asked. “I’m scared to walk out into my backyard.”

“I’d pick a few plums and toss them into your neighbor’s part of the forest,” I suggested. “Then find some fresh carrion and toss it near, but not on, your property. And post a sign with an accompanying map: Better Bear Food at the Zoo,” which is just up the street.

“Funny,” he solemnly replied.

“I know! Post a sign that says ‘Bear meat served daily.’ She seems quite smart!”

As I said that, a cub strolled up to my front door and asked for lunch. Fortunately, I still had some ex-boyfriend left in the freezer.

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