Friday, August 20, 2010

Bear ReHab


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

(Group of black bears sitting in a circle in the Sawtooth Wilderness)

"Okay, let's get started. We're all here because we share the same problem. We're powerless over the smell of barbecue, the taste of picnic lunches and, especially, potato chips, and our wildlife has become unmanageable. Who wants to go first—Blackie?

Yeah, I was fine living in the forest eating berries from the bushes and fish from the rivers, and then I got my first whiff of the smell of barbecue and I went nuts. I had to have some of that! I went to the campers' sites at night and found all this discarded food all over the camp. Then, I ate my first potato chip and it was all over. I had to have more, I tell you! I couldn't stop!"

"Yeah, I know exactly what he means. I had a ham sandwich and some slaw, but when I took a bite of Cheetos, it was all over. I emptied the bag and searched frantically around for more. I had to have it. I was hooked!"

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"It was a big struggle for me. For four seasons at Redfish Lake, I became the crazed stalker of snack food left behind by the campers. I barely escaped with my life. But, now, talking to you other bears and listening to your experiences, I summoned up my courage, returned to the forest and started living the wild life again."

"All right, we all know what we have to do—stay away from the camps and the junk food and get back to the woods and take it one day at a time. No more Cheetos, Fritos or Lay's Potato Chips or any other of that camper swill. Remember that Labor Day weekend is coming up and there will be temptation everywhere. I think for safety's sake, we should all start hibernating now. Go find a cave and lay low until you feel you can get a grip on the chips."

Stow your food away, folks, you're in Bear Country.

Nice talking to you.




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