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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Granieri

Bearing Up

The black bear this morning, reaching up to grasp the bird feeder, tearing it down with one swipe of the paw, this paw, just like the baseball mitt B. oiled up, impregnated with a baseball, and bound with a harness of rubber bands from the morning's newspaper delivery. Then, he'd stuff it beneath his mattress.

This was spring.

Now, this bear, this mitt, the cats wide-eyed and staring from the patio, so much beauty and a droplet of terror as my husband decides to roar at the bear to move it along. My husband, in his dress pants, getting the bear to scuttle off, I am anguished, because that's my way, but I'm also proud.

My husband protects things. He is the first person to ever protect me, me, who never sought a man who would even hold a door for me, he protects me, and I protect him. He is not accustomed to softness and care. He has done most everything for himself since he was 6 years old. He will allow me to scratch his back or cook him dinner, but it was difficult to enter that space of care. He, in his own way, had a wounded paw.

The bear sifted through our trash and tossed the bags all over the front woods. I slipped twice in a muck trying to stuff it all back into the can by the road before the truck arrived. The whole business was dirty and disgusting and a story for later, and in some way, it was also fun, but my husband doesn't need to know that. He only needs to know that I suffered and had a few pratfalls, nearly slipping on my own banana peel. I'm just glad that someone ate the expired street queso he bought and never opened.

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