Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dunraven Pass

A snarl of cars says
that the tourons have found grizzlies.

We stop to restore order
stepping out in crisp USPS greens.

The bears are foraging
in the meadows about
three hundred yards below the road.

The tourons crowd the road edge
cameras and binoculars bristle,
a danger only to themselves.

Then I see
maybe fifty yards above the bears,
a man with a camera and next to him
a young boy.

Deciding how to get them back alive,
the man picks up a stick
and snaps it in two.

The closest bear is easily a 600 pound male
he turns instantly toward the sound;
his eyesight is poor but his sense of smell excellent
He is scanning.

The crowd hushes;
even tourons smell danger.
Grizzlies usually don’t attack humans
but they sure will eliminate a threat.

I hiss at the man,
“Listen to me;
do exactly as I tell you.
Don’t turn your back on him.
Don’t run. Walk backwards,
slowly, towards me; do it now.”

As they start to move, the bear
gets target acquisition and lock
he is facing them, ears back;
This is not good. Even uphill
He can sprint at thirty miles an hour.

This day, this amazing stupid shit
and his terrified son live.
When he gets to the road
I ask him “Why did you do that?”
He smiles and says,
“I wanted to see how fast they could move.”

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