Why Should I Worry

You may have heard of my recent visitor.  A potentially 250-600 pound (that's the male weight-range) black bear, whose head, I'm quite certain, could easily sport my laundry basket as a hat.

No, I wasn't lucky enough to get such a close-up photograph.  Photo Source

It is hardly uncommon to encounter bears in Northeast Georgia.  Since my family moved here, we have had several bears parade across our front yard, climb onto our porch, and, astonishingly, actually sit on the hood of my parent's car (while they were in it, no less).  Although somewhat less welcome than our other wild visitors (squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, deer, emu, etc.), as long as you're out of harm's way it can be quite entertaining to have bears visit.  Especially when there are cubs involved.

Not so much when you're alone.

It all began with a strange noise in the backyard.  Granted, I don't often pay attention to strange noises because, as it happens, I have a regular menagerie living in my attic space.  But this one was particularly loud.

So I pulled back the curtain to the sliding glass door (separating the bedroom from the enclosed area of the back porch), only to come face to face with a massive black head. 


My initial reaction was overwhelming relief that some weirdo, not unlike the murderer who apparently frequented nearby Richard Russell, wasn't trying to break into my house.  Then I realized that having a bear break into one's house mightn't be much better.

I've heard two different schools of thought regarding contact with bears (not including running away because that would be stupid.  Bears can run up to 30 mph).  The first is to throw your arms into the air, make an extreme amount of noise, and try to appear larger than you are so as to scare the bear away.  (I think whoever coined this "rule of thumb" has never actually seen a full-grown bear, and perhaps has bears confused with possums.)  As Isaac was watching Oliver and Company at the time, and Billy Joel was singing "Why Should I Worry" at a rather high decibel, I doubt this option would've proved useful anyway.

The second idea is to make oneself as small as possible in hopes of being unseen.  Of the two, this caters better to my natural instincts. 

But, seeing as I was indoors and had just turned on the back-porch light directly over said bear's head, he  decided it was time to go and reached both paws through the broken screen door, grabbed my full-size green trash can, and carted the thing off into the woods.

Apparently the discarded objects lying far beneath my deck (that I've been meaning to go pick up), weren't tempting enough for Mr. Bear.  (Isaac seems to think that the best thing to do with any unwanted item is to chuck it off the side of the deck, or, if said item is in any way sticky or pliable, to mash it into his hair.  Which is why I have much cleaning to do.)

The following morning, I went out to explore my yard.  The steps to the back porch had been smashed in from supporting the bear's weight, the entire gate was removed and lying on the ground, and my porch screen was sporting an especially large hole.  The trash can and its contents were no where in sight.

Then my dad came to visit and confirmed my suspicion that yes, if a bear really wanted to break into my house, he could easily smash through my sliding glass door.  (For an idea of how big black bears can get, go here.)

Which is just peachy considering the only weapons I've got available are a small hand-gun and mace, both of which would probably just anger a bear.   So . . . I'll keep you posted if he comes back for the second trash can (currently empty).

We're going on a bear hunt, we're going to catch a big one.  What's that?  It might eat us?!  Eh, we're not scared . . . 

I used to love this book as a child.  Now I'm vaguely concerned about the author's sanity.


  1. Oh, be careful out there, lady! That is terrifying.

    I used to read that book to the kids at work, and everytime, I'd think how crazy that little bear hunting family was!

  2. you could sing Billy Joel "Why Should I Worry" as LOUD as possible, that might scare it away.
    Its crazy that it would pull the fence out and such.
    they sale a type of bear mace you might get. I KNOW! go buy a SCREAM mask! that will scare it to NEVER come back, heeheeeee
    please be safe my friend
    no porriage, no chairs, no beds,
    end of story!

  3. goodness - you know, in all my time in the mountains I never did see a bear. now I'm sorta glad. I bet there aren't many bears in Denmark, so you can add that to your "pro's" list :)

  4. We have black bears in the region here, although I have never seen one face to face as you have. Oy! I would have most likely stood there frozen and waited for it to eat me. Glad you survived with only minimal loss. You wanted a new trash can anyway right?


  5. That's amazing! I've always wanted to see a bear! Not that close up though, of course. lol

  6. i don't think i ever saw a bear in GA either. here in washington we have coyotes. generally they aren't bothersome, but it seems like the last few months, they've been coming closer and closer to people, and it's super creepy. :/

    wild animals are a bummer sometimes...

  7. Oh how terrifying yet exciting...bears are so beautiful...I have a healthy fear of them, ha ha as they frequent our forest clad town as well. Glad you didn't talk of hurting him...poor thing was just hungry and likely just as shocked to see a pretty lady poke her head from the curtain, ha ha.

  8. Healthy fear is always a good thing. Once a mama bear and her cubs ran across our front yard and my mom went outside to take photos of them!

    No way I could've hurt him even if he threatened us. I think the best option would've been to high-tail it to my car and let him have the house.

  9. Great post! Recently, I was visiting my dad in Arkansas. There have been several sightings of black bear. My daughter and I decided to take an evening walk. As we approached a cluster of trees, I thought I heard a 'grunt'. You've never seen grown women take off so fast! If it was a bear, fortunately, it didn't pursue the chase!


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