There’s no excuse for what I’ve done. I can only say it had to be done.
The way I see it, I had no other choice, and maybe that sounds like an excuse, but when you know the whole story, I think you’ll agree.
See, it was a day like any other day. My wife was at work, and I was doing my husbandly duty of taking out the trash.
I was minding my own business, humming along to the incessant tune in my head, when out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of a movement low to the ground. After I dropped the odoriferous bag into the large metal trashcan beside our garage, I walked around the side of the house and into the back yard, curious to see what small animal was lurking.
The last thing I wanted was for my dog to go nuts because the neighbor’s fat tabby was mousing in her space again.
But lo and behold, what I found was nothing more than a spectacled bear. Wait. I mean, Holy moly! A spectacled bear!
I live in a suburb of Portland, Oregon. We do not have bears like this here. I’ve only seen bears like this in books. To be honest, I’ve never seen any bear with my own eyes outside the zoo.
Poor guy. He was huddled in the corner of the fence, behind my maple tree. I should just say, I called it a he, but for all I know it was a she.
I looked around, wondering if there’d be a mama speckles somewhere, but it appeared he was very alone. I got down on my hands and knees and crawled over to the little fella.
“Hey fella,” I said in my most unthreatening voice. “Where’d you come from?”
He stared back at me with those round eyes and made a growl sound we’ll have to assume was a whimper. I still have all my fingers, so it’s a good assumption.
At this point I probably should have called animal control, but he looked so scared and hungry. I decided to feed him first. What else would any self-respecting animal lover do? See, I had no choice.
I pulled my dumb smartphone out of my pocket and searched the internet. I typed ‘what do spectacled bears eat.’
I got a few hits, and I was relieved to find out they’re omnivores, so I wouldn’t have to feed him my schnauzer. The website said they eat bamboo and cacti. Nope. No bamboo or cacti here. They eat grass. That’s a possibility, but I worked hard on this lawn. Tree bark. Not a chance. I love this maple tree. We’ll not be pulling off its bark. We’re all out of honey and fruit. I wished I hadn’t eaten that last apple this morning.
After all this, that left one thing. One thing these bears like to eat. Orchids, specifically the bulbs. Now I know what you’re thinking. I should have sacrificed the lawn or some of the bark off the tree, but listen, orchids were first on the list of things spectacled bears like. Grass and tree bark were at the end of the list.
How could I deny the sweet little guy the food he likes most when I have it to offer? I couldn’t. Of course I gave him my wife’s prized competition orchid to munch on while I called animal control. And after seeing the way he devoured it, I feel confident I made the right choice.
Of course, if I’d have known how uncomfortable our couch was maybe I would have pretended never to have seen the bear in the first place.