The Bear: Part 1
The geese have had a nest by the wood pile next to the kitchen. It's a safe little place, tucked right next to the house by the mews and the stacks of firewood. About a dozen eggs were being sat upon, hoping for a hatching of goslings to take to the Poultry Swap in May. About ten feet from them is the garbage cans. Both cans and the nest are less than fifty feet from my small 2-car-garage-sized barn.
I came home from the brewery early. Or, earlier than my friends who stay well into the wee hours. I get up with the sun around 6:30AM right now and staying up until 1Am isn't appealing. So I came home, and when I pulled into the driveway with my pickup, there was not a weird thing going on, at all. There was no panicked sounds of animals or grunts. There was no weird smells. I had been sober as a Judge for a while before I even turned the key in the truck. All was quiet on the Cold Antler Front.
I let the dogs out to pee. I checked the goats to see if any kids had arrived. I counted the flock for all 14 sheep. I made sure the pigs didn't topple their water (I hate waking up thirsty at 3Am, I imagine a pig does, too). So, as far I as knew, the farm was well and good when I crawled upstairs into my bed at 11PM. Honestly, I was so happy about that stair walk, it is embarassing. I had been sleeping on the daybed in the living room all winter, and to have the big full bed, the open windows, the fresh air, the clean sheets, the sprawling GLORY that is a big bed in a clean room... I was more drunk on comfort than anything. And this was the same day I had ran eight miles and fell off a horse. I was ready to sleep.
And while I was sleeping the bear came.
I live on a small mountain, up a winding road. Bears are common, as is bear hunting. There are packs of Plott Hounds that chase bear across my farm fields come fall. I watched them run across corn fields and have seen cubs climbing trees. I love this. I have no qualms with bears as they rarely cause problems. But that night while I slept one bear was on a mission. That mission was calledL DESTROY COLD ANTLER FARM.