Nature Notes

Vol. IX November, 1931 No. 11

Just Bears

Everyone laughs when the fat gentleman with the silk hat, who cavorts about in the comic sections, slips upon a banana peel. But it's no joke to the owner of the silk hat!

Likewise some of the amusing antics of the bears here in the park: do not seem amusing to some of the residents at Longmire who generally come out second best. At the end of each summer Bruin suddenly discovers that the visitors have, like the fabeled Arabs, folded their tents and departed. But at first their disappointment is not so keen. The mountains are covered with huckleberry bushes loaded with delicious fruit and Bruin goes about his business of getting fat for his period of hibernation which warrants adequate preparation. But huckleberries do not last forever. Neither are the bears in accord with the stylish ideals of the "sylph-like" figure of the present mode. At least not at this time of the year. And so it doesn't take them long to discover the possibilities of "racketerring" in the neighborhood of Longmire.

Now it's bad enough to be obliged to hunt for your garbage can each and every morning and assemble the debris which is scattered hither and yon. But when your eyes rest upon a kitchen, refrigerator or cooler that shows unmistakable signs of Bruin's visit of the night before -- well that's too much. At the home of the Assistant Superintendent, Mr. Carlson, one bear even added insult to injury. Awakened in the wee small hours Mr. Carlson proceeded to the vestibule wherein was kept the refrigerator. He was too late. The bear had simply turned the door knob, walked in, opened the refrigerator and helped himself to everything in sight. And there, sprawled upon the floor in the midst of the ensuing "mess" was the culprit-- sound asleep enjoying the slumber which follows upon a full stomach. But you can bet his dreams were rudely interrupted!

Another example of a bears ingenuity -- the fruit closet of one home was broken into while the occupants of the place were away. The bear ate the contents of several jars of home canned corn, unscrewing the tops of the mason jars and returning the glass container to the shelf unbroken. And then there's the bear who fathomed the mysteries of a "trick" garbage can -- one of the kind that is possessed of a lever which, upon pressure of the foot, lifts the lid. This particular animal was calmly munching the contents of the can with one fore paw resting properly upon the lever which elevated the lid.

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