Spring; the forest floor is moist, the ground gives way under the weight of your foot with out a sound.
Tippy (family dog) and I were walking along an old raised logging trail, taking in the sight and sound of spring. Suddenly, we froze in our tracks. Likewise, a sow bear with cubs on the next hill halted. We all stood our ground. The sow reacted first, sounding a warning, her cubs scrambled up the nearest tree. Then the sow turned. We were at an impasse, separated by the wide gully below.
Tippy broke first, running full bore to the hilltop, then stopped short of the treed cubs. The sow was having none of this, turned as quick as a whip, then charged! Tippy spun around in mid air, running before his feet hit the ground.
Who, in God’s name, said bear can’t run down hill?
Realizing I was their destination, jumped from the trail to the swamp below, and hugged a tree staying out of sight. Reaching the bottom of the hill, the bear paused, Tippy continued up to the logging trail, where he paused. Each of us stood in a state of suspended animation.
The bear broke first, lumbering back up the hill toward her cubs. Tippy turned, ears perked, prepared for another assault.
Believe me, humans filled with the fear of God, CAN run up hill.
Before Tippy could pick up the gauntlet and charge again, I had him……then slowly, ever so slowly, we backed away from the sow inching our way backward until we lost site of the bear through the trees. Then we turned, AND ran like our feet were on fire!