Sunday, October 30, 2016

Small Town Girl III

As the only girl in a family of three brothers, I learned early about the many needs of boys. I learned that they love to be waited and doted on. By the time my younger brothers were born my older brother was usually out and about with his friends. I stayed at home more to help my mom with the young ones. Even though I was 5 years older than one and 7 years older than the other I would play with them trying to keep them busy.

Sometimes we would go on picnics. Living close to the creek and the woods was a big advantage. One of my favorite places to take "Bob" and "Ted" was a small meadow along the creek.  To get to the meadow we had to walk along the railroad tracks that were between our backyard and the woods. On one of these occasions, we saw a bear crossing the tracks ahead of us. It was a medium sized black bear coming from the direction of the meadow. My youngest brother instantly started crying and wanted to go home. When the bear heard him it took off into the woods at an alarming speed, apparently, it was terrified of him. I tried to explain this but my brother wasn't having any of it. He said he would tell mom that I made him picnic where there was a bear. My solution-- go ahead tell mom but I'm not taking you home now. My other brother was scared but he trusted me when I said the bear was more scared of us than we were of it. My expertise and bravery came from a story told to me by my fourth-grade teacher. She used to hunt and one day while hunting, decided to rest for lunch. As she was eating she has the strangest feeling that she was being watched. Upon looking up she noticed a black bear watching her, so she tossed it half her sandwich and shared the rest of her lunch with it also. When her lunch was gone she packed up and walked away. The bear went its way and she went hers.

We continued on our way and went down the bank to the meadow. It was so beautiful, covered with wildflowers and soft green grass. Maple, birch, and evergreen trees gave us shade. We enjoyed our lunch of PBJ's, potato chips and kool-aid then lay back on the blanket and watched the clouds float by. It was so peaceful, with one exception the scared brother. It had been over an hour since we saw that bear but he would not it drop. At one point I made him take his blanket and put it down about ten feet from Bob and me  so we could enjoy looking for different shapes in the clouds.  However, there was a flaw with this strategy because Ted was about as stubborn as a boy could be. He only howled louder and disturbed us more. Time for another plan.

I suggested that we play hide and seek or fox and geese to get his mind off the bear. This worked until Ted figured out that in order to play hide and seek he had to hide alone. So on to plan C. We went down to the creek to hunt crawdads. Finally! His mind was off the bear and we all had an enjoyable time looking for crawdads and minnows.

We played by the creek for quite awhile then it became late afternoon and so I packed them up and headed for home. Once Ted saw the railroad tracks he remembered the bear and it was not a pleasant walk home. True to form he tattled saying that I had made him picnic in a place where there were bears.

To be continued.......

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