Bear Scare

We were on our first camping trip,
We had hiked way up in the hills.
Just three greenhorn city-buddies
Out there enjoying nature’s thrills.

We camped out by a mountain trail,
Which led down to an ice-cold creek.
Water had to be fetched often
Because our bucket had a leak.

My turn to go after water
Always seemed to come after dark.
Those old woods were full of danger.
The campsite was no city park.

They kidded me for being scared
And sent me on my scary way.
Was our need for water urgent?
It couldn’t wait for light of day?

I said some wild beast would eat me
But they agreed the turn was mine.
With thoughts about the tracks we’d seen,
Of big bear and a mountain lion,

I walked down to the water’s edge,
Where I could dip my bucket in.
Something out there splashed and snorted
And raised a loud and awful din.

I stood frozen there in terror.
This was my worst kind of nightmare.
I saw there bathing in the stream
The biggest meanest kind of bear!

If uphill running is a sport
Then I can make you one sure bet.
There’ll never be a faster time
Than that night’s record that I set.

I shouted down about the bear
From very high up in a tree.
They laughed and told me that the bear
I saw was just as scared as me.

Well if he was as scared as me,
And that is what you really think,
Then forget your morning coffee,
That water won’t be fit to drink!

Bear Scare is a takeoff on an old joke. Have you ever been terrified and then had everyone make fun of you? To really be scared of something, you have to believe in it. You can’t be scared of ghosts if you are absolutely convinced that they don’t exist. If you would be scared to spend the night alone in a house said to be haunted then there must be an inkling of doubt in there somewhere.

In my story, the young fellow had no doubt that there were bears. He also knew that no bear could be quite as afraid of him as he was of it. In any case, he wasn’t going to drink the water.

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