For a reason that escapes me, my garage is an interesting place for all sorts of animals. I spend a fair amount of time in there from the spring until early winter, building this or that for use somewhere around here.
A few months ago, as I drove up in an electric golf cart, one of vehicles we use on the property and in the vineyard, I was rather surprised to find a bear we now call Cinnamon, standing where I was going to park the cart. Cinnamon was even more surprised than me to see the black golf cart that suddenly appeared silently at the open garage door. I suspect he thought it was some sort of large black animal.
The nonchalant attitude that we’ve taken to be his hallmark deserted him completely. In a complete panic he started running around in the garage, peeing on the floor in abject terror. I backed the cart out of the entrance, where I had come to a stop, giving him room to escape. After a few more seconds of utter panic, he ran out. He headed straight for the wire fence that is at the edge of the garage. Ran into it head first. Ouch! Backing off and a bit dazed, he turned and ran away along the side of the building, looking like two guys in a bear suit, the front legs and back legs operating with noticeably different gait.
Poor Cinnamon; he’s a young bear, probably two years old but seems to have an adventurous streak. He’s visited before, turning over our garbage can twice, although it does not contain “serious” food, and venturing over the dog run fence that surrounds the house. His fence climbing is hilarious. He heads for one of the wooden posts which are only five foot high, and climbs up to the top then goes down the other side, head first. Until one has seen a bear, butt up in the air as it goes down a wooden post, one cannot appreciate how truly amusing they can be. Once over the fence, he’ll pause and turn back to look at us, the tip of his tongue sticking out.
I can’t help wonder if he’s going to grow into his ears, or if they’ll always stick out like feet.
A foot note to this story:
This year (2013) Cinnamon showed up at Forgotten Hill B&B, with 2 cubs! There was no mistaking that it was Cinnamon: same big ears, same slightly sheepish expression, same colouring and body shape. Now we know for sure, Cinnamon is a female and a mother too. Some guests enjoyed the spectacle and then Cinnamon, cubs in tow moved on.