Bear News Beartown News

MARCH 1, 2001


Recollections of a FLATLANDER (circa 1950)

When my wife, Mary, and I moved to this area some 50 years ago we rented an old farm house not far from where we live now. The house came with a mature small orchard in the yard. There were no indoor conveniences, so by the orchard was an outhouse.
September came and the old orchard started to attract the amimals. Jays took a chunk out of an apple here and there until the sparrow hawks chased them off. Cows and their calves that had been ranging free all summer were led by the experienced elders among them to our yard for the apples; and our garden.
At night the bears came. Old bears and young bears. Judging from the piles of bear droppings, we must have had every bear for miles around in the yard every night when it came time to make the last trip of the day to the outhouse by the orchard.
Mary solved our problem neatly one night when she opened the door, stood on the step for a second and then yelled, "Get out of here, bears!" Crashing and heavy thuds came from the orchard along with splitting sounds as bears tumbled over and through the rail fence. Later, in bed with the window open, we could hear them sneaking back to finish their meals. It became a nightly ritual. "Get out of here, bears," the sounds of bears retreating in panic and Mary and I crunching through the leaves to the little house behind the house.

Fred Barlow
Lost Hollow Road
Beartown, VT


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