By Charles Towne
It was a beautiful summer morning.
I had been following Buddy the bear cub and photographing him for several weeks as he wandered through the forest that runs along the beautiful Wekiva river, and I expected to find him in short order but my expectations did not bare fruit. My little bear friend had obviously vanished into thin air?
A lot of bad things can happen to a little orphan bear cub wandering alone in the forest. What if he had encountered a diamondback rattlesnake? The result of such an encounter could end in only one way, with terrible and painful results for Buddy. Large adult bears usually survive such an encounter, but a cub? Its survival would be highly unlikely.
And then there are falls. Even adult bears die or are crippled as a result of falls, and when that idea crept into my the fertile soil of my imagination and took root, other ideas, each one worse that the one before, came to mind.
What if a large hungry male bear had surprised Buddy on the ground? And an alligator would welcome the addition of a tender little bear to its diet.
Four or five hours had passed as I wandered and searched and my neck had developed a very painful kink from hours of staring up into the treetops searching for any sign of the little guy.
Finally my quest took me back to where I had started searching several hours earlier.
I had paused under a large oak tree and as I stood there rubbing my neck and imagining the worst it started sprinkling.
Florida weather is so strange.
I looked up.
The sun was shining and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
It had stopped sprinkling.
I stepped back and stared upward, at the subject of my search! Yes, there was Buddy, stretching and yawning after a long, undisturbed nap. He then grinned a great big, little boy bear grin, as if to say, “the joke is on you Chuck.”
And the joke surely was on me for would you believe me if I told you It hadn’t been sprinkling at all, that little bear had peed on me… and I was so happy to see him it was my turn to grin!
A NATURE LOVER’S PRAYER
Thank you Papa God. Haven’t you told us to be thankful in all things? Thank you for all gifts from on high, even those gifts from a little bear. What a joy is your wonderful creation. Please draw us all to you Father, In Jesus’ wonderful, beautiful, and holy name we ask this. Amen
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.