Lacy was dashing across the back yard today. Running to and fro like the Zen lunatic she is. Periodically she was stop dead in her stride and stare intently into the woods through the chainlink fence. At what, was impossible to determine, but she thought there was something interesting out there. Back and forth along the back fence. Stop, run, leap straight up into the air, run and bark. This is how she passed many a minute. I sat, basking in the hot early summer sun, drinking a cup of Java and reading the funny papers. I could not decide which was funnier the comics, or the seeming randomness of my crazy dogs actions.
After a few minutes lacy strolled dejected over to me looking for some petting and some praise for all her effort. So I humored her and told her what a good doggie she was and all that. She wasn't there two minutes when off she sprinted again toward the back fence. This time I too heard the rustling in the brush so I figured that a squirrel was tormenting lacy once again (we had a flying squirrel once that did just that). The rustling continued and seemed to get louder. Lacy even started backing up a few steps, although she continued to bark like she was the baddest dog ever.
As the rustling and now thrashing through the woods continued my interest was captured also. I too now was staring intently on the lush green flora on the other side of the 4 foot chainlink fence. Slowly a form began to reveal itself. Lacy must have recognized it first because her hair stood strait up and her barking became ferocious almost to the point of desperate. I thought for sure some kid was just fucking around but as the creature came closer and closer I realized there was no way in hell a kid could be that big and make so much noise and scare lacy so. I stood up and walked into the lawn to get a better look and what befell my eyes was the figure of a tremendous monster coming out from the woods and approaching the fence on four enormous legs.
There before lacy and I was a brown bear lumbering through the woods with its gaze locked on lacy. As it came clear of the brush it stood on its hind legs and let out a roar that sent a chill though me that almost knocked me to the ground. Lacy's barking was at a feverish pitch that I had never heard before. I was frozen where I stood. The sun beating down on me and causing sweaty drip down my back, yet I could not budge. The bear which I realized now was most likely a grizzly and that Lacy was about to be devoured in its awesome jaws reached for the fence and in one swift motion had climbed over and was again on its hind legs roaring at the pathetic dog two feet in front of it.
All I could get out of my frozen mouth was a faint cry for "lacy" that was barely audible to the gnats that were now flying about my sweat soaked body. Lacy by now was stepping back and back but, it seemed as if she were just waiting to lunge at the bear. The bear on the other hand was taking it sweet time deciding just when and how it would end our sorry excuses for lives. Lowering back onto all fours its hair raised and began to run at poor little lacy. I thought this was the end for my doggie. Lacy back peddled almost right up to me but stood firm a few feet in between myself and the grizzly beast from the North. I would swear that the bear smirked and laughed at out attempt at a fallback position and final defense against its massiveness.
Two more long strides by its clawed legs and it would be upon lacy and after one swift strike, onto my frozen form. But as fate would have it, this was not our time. For just as the smirk faded from the bears face and its jaws opened up, saliva dripping, a loud childlike scream came from the direction of the street in front of our house. The bear paused for a moment and listened intently. Again the little girl let out a scream, the very same scream those little brats from the neighborhood let out all the live long day. Never had I thought that I would be so pleased to her those god-awful yells. The bears jaws closed, and the smile returned to its face. It stared a moment longer at us, and feigned a swipe at lacy who tried uselessly to bite at the huge claw. With that the bear ran full steam for the other end of the yard and hurdled the fence and was in the front yard running in the direction of the little screams.
Lacy and I now realized we had been spared so we bolted into the house to catch the action across the street. Just as we made it to the large bow window in our kitchen we saw the bear dragging off one of the little rug rats in its jaw and running back in the direction of our house. In a no more than 10 strides the powerful beast was back into the woods and out of sight. The only thing left was a light trail of blood from the 5-year old the bear had taken as its rightful prize. Letting out a tremendous sigh of relief I returned to the backyard and my funnies and lacy took a nap under the picnic table.
Copyright © 1999 Anthony