Some of ya’ll might have heard about the bear that staged a break-in at the WNC
Nature Center in Asheville awhile back. Accordin’ to media reports a yearling black
bear scaled a ten foot fence and dropped in to do a little visitin’ with the center’s
herd of deer. Bob Fay, the nature center’s critter curator, said the deer “didn’t much
appreciate the visitor.” Why wouldn’t Bambi welcome a friendly visit with his ole buddy
Smokey the Bear?
Speakin’ of visitin’ that reminds me of the time brother bear visited my Aunt
Lucille. Aunt Lucille was a nurse up at C.J. Harris hospital and a lot of times she’d
work over-time and get back to the house pretty late. Her husband Rufus would leave the
back door unlocked when he left to go to work at the mill in Sylva ‘cause sometimes
Aunt Lucille would forget her key to the house. The bolt on the back door didn’t catch
too well and Aunt Lucille had been pestern’ Uncle Rufus to fix it for the longest time.
You know how us men-folks can be with those honey-do’s though.
It had been a cool spring with a late freeze and most of the berries and such that
bears and other critters in the woods ate just weren’t coming out. A big ‘ole black boar
bear happened to be huntin’ up some garbage cans close to town and scented Aunt
Lucille’s pot roast simmerin’ on the back of the stove. He peered into the house
and spotted a plate of cookies settin’ on the kitchen table like they was just waiting for
him! Well it weren’t long ‘fore brother bear just happened to nose up to the back door
and give it a little push. The pearly gates opened up and brother bear was in heaven!
First, brother bear devoured the oatmeal-raisin cookies on the kitchen table.
Like a lot of us folks brother bear’s motto was dessert first main course later.
Next he attacked the pot roast on the back of the stove—sliding it frontwards and spilling
the juicy meat and vegetables all over the kitchen floor. A perfect mess!
After devouring the tasty pot roast off the kitchen floor, brother bear smelled a
strange scent coming from the pantry. He ambled over to the pantry door pushing it
open. There sittin’ in the corner was Uncle Rufus’ beer crock plum full of strong bubbly
brew. After chowing down on the cookies and the pot roast brother bear had a powerful
thirst. He knocked the heavy clay top off and commenced to slurpin’ up Uncle Rufus’
When ‘ole brother bear was done he belched contentedly and feeling a little
sleepy padded up the stairs wobbling from side-to-side. Nosing the bedroom door open
brother bear saw Lucille and Rufus’ bed which looked just fine for a post-feast nap.
Aunt Lucille came home to find the back door wide open to the world. She
took one look at the hog wallow in her kitchen and just about had a hissy fit.
“That man,” she thought, “he’s a gonna get my broom on his backside” as she
commenced to cleanin’ up.
When Aunt Lucille got done cleaning up the mess she was plum wore
Out. As she started to the head of the stairs she could hear the snorin’ and thought to
herself, “Rufe ate all that pot roast, cleaned out the brewin’ crock of homemade beer
and now it sounds like he’s logging the whole forest. Can’t I ever get any rest?”
The light was burnt out in the hallway and Aunt Lucille felt her way up the stairs
to the bedroom that she and Uncle Rufus shared. As she opened the door the snoring
from brother bear sounded like hogs tussling over the feeding trough. Aunt Lucille got
into her night gown and slippin’ into bed gave brother bear a poke with her elbow and
said “Rufe quiet down so’s I can get a little sleep.” Brother bear grunted and shifted in
his home brew induced stupor.
When brother bear wouldn’t quit snoring Aunt Lucille gave the bruin a little
nudge with her hip. Well brother bear didn’t like that too much and gave out a little
growl that made Lucille sit up and take notice. She took one look at who her bed partner
was and sprang out of bed like she’d seen the Booger man himself!
Aunt Lucille grabbed the broom settin’ in the corner and commenced to chasin’
brother bear ‘round the room. Just when she was gainin’ on him the bear would give a
little jump and get away. Finally, Aunt Lucille cornered the poor drunken bruin by the
dresser and gave him a good whop with the broom. Brother bear saw his chance and
leaped towards the window like one of them gold medal winnin’ Olympic high jumpers
and crashed right through it. Aunt Lucille rushed to the window and all she could see
was brother bear high-tailin’ it for the woods like a thirsty man headed for his still.
After that little incident Aunt Lucille made sure Uncle Rufus fixed that bolt on the
back door. So the next time you see brother bear pokin’ ‘round the backyard of your
‘little house in the big woods’ just remember he’s hungry and it’s his front yard!