By Charles Towne
Nick saw the cute little bear cub first and he called, “Aww Frank, come here quick and see the cute little bear cub.”
The two men stood at the base of the small cedar and stared up at the object of their attention in fascination while they talked in low tones.
“How much do you suppose the little guy weighs?” Frank asked.
“Oh, if I was to guess I would say twenty or thirty pounds, no more than that,” Nick offered.
The two outdoorsmen knew enough to never monkey around with a bear cub in the wild. And they also knew that mama bears don’t take kindly to humans harassing their offspring, but they decided to disregard these facts.
Nick and Frank were camping way up in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Northern Michigan. It was mid-summer and the wildlife was in fine fettle. That is to say that the mosquitoes and no-see-ums were so thick they at times blotted out the sun.
Later, neither man could remember which of them came up with the idea of catching the “cute little bear cub”. In fact, they each denied it with great fervor.
Someone said, “Man, that little tree would be real easy to climb!”
Someone else said, “Yeah, and there is that piece of rope back at the tent!”
Now, at this point, I am going to let imagination tell the rest of the story.
Nick runs to the tent and fetches the aforementioned rope.
Frank begins to climb the tree with the rope to catch the “cute little bear cub”, at which time he will lower the “cute little bear cub” to Nick, and Nick will grab the “cute little bear cub” and hold it until Frank reaches the ground.
This part of the plan was wonderful, and good, but they had no clue what they were going to do with the “cute little bear cub” once they had captured it.
Oh well, they thought, something would come to mind.
Frank approached the “cute little bear cub” and called down to Nick that the “cute little bear cub” looked a lot bigger up close!
Frank reached out to place the rope around the “cute little bear cub’s” neck.
What is that old saying about, “the best laid plans of mice, men, and idiots trying to catch ‘cute little bear cubs’, oft-times go awry”?
When that rope touched the “cute little bear cub,” for some strange reason known only to itself, the cub suddenly went berserk. Another word that describes the “cute little bear cub’s” antics at this point is, amok, which is best described as, a murderous frenzy!
Berserk bear cubs have the remarkable ability to transform themselves into meat grinder / wood chippers at a moment’s notice, with no warning.
Yeah sure, just a “cute little bear cub.”
The first clue that all was not well was the terrible yowling and screaming and frantic movement up in the top of the tree.
Concerned, Nick called to his buddy, “Be careful Frank, don’t hurt the poor little guy!”
It took only a moment for Nick to figure out that not all of that screaming and shouting was coming from the “cute little bear cub.” Unless “cute little bear cubs” can shout things like “OUCHHHH!! Oh NO! Get away from me! HELP! Oh dear lord, IT’S KILLING ME!”
Nick, obviously the sensitive sort, called out, “Come on Frank, leave the poor little guy alone. If he falls from way up there he might get hurt.”
Frank, in full agreement, was calmly, gleeping, moaning and screaming, but the “cute little bear cub” wanted to play.
If by chance you ever find yourself in such a predicament as our misbegotten friend Frank, there is really only one thing that you can do: let go and fall!
Frank let go, and fell.
As falls go it was not a spectacular fall, a mere twenty feet, and due to the fact that Frank hit every branch on the tree at least twice on his way down – which, according to all the laws of nature and man, should have been an impossibility – he was basically uninjured. Oh yes, he did have an egg-sized knot on his head, three cracked ribs, a broken left arm and pinkie finger on his right hand, but other than that, like I said, he was uninjured. The “cute little bear cub” escaped, without a scratch, as did the tree
As he woke, Frank was mumbling something about the “cute little bear cub” trying to eat him.
Now we know that a “cute little bear cub” of a mere twenty or thirty pound can’t possibly eat a full grown man, therefore credit must be given to a previously unknown growth gene, because the “cute little bear cub” grew into a two hundred pound black bear by the time Frank was able to tell the story the second time. Since Frank had his, “cute little bear cub” experience, the bear in question has reached the gargantuan size of three, four, and even five hundred pounds, with no sign of slowing its growth rate anytime soon.
AN OUTDOORSMAN’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, please protect me from fools… and crazy ideas that can kill me… and particularly from myself. I praise you Lord God! I don’t have a clue where you are taking me, but I know it is going to be fun. Thank you, Friend-God, for ridding me of guilt and shame, and for revealing to me the principle of joyful Christianity!
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.