(I wasn't trying to go) On a Bear Hunt

A couple of weeks ago, someone who works with Sam hit a bear on the way into work.  Warner Robins isn't a particularly rural area.  We've got enough "civilization" going on that this is kind of weird.  Granted, it was way the heck outside of the city limits...but still.  A bear?  Really?  (Isn't it too hot in Georgia for those things anyway?)  So this was on my mind.  I discussed it with my boss who informed me that the DNR trapped a bear in his brother's backyard a couple of years ago.  He *does* live in the city limits.  That had me a little on edge.

Flash forward to my weekend in Sylvania over the 4th:

It was hot, but I'm on an exercising kick (it was kind of a New Year's Resolution, but I hesitate to call it that because that means it'll fizzle as soon as I utter the words).  It's been my goal to do *some* sort of physical activity every day...no matter how small.  So, I decided to take a walk.  My in-laws have a meandering dirt road for a driveway and it's about a half a mile (give or take) from their house to the paved road.  I was going to walk to the end, past the pond (it really is beautiful there), through the pine trees.  I got about 3/4 of the way down the driveway when I heard a noise...a moan, if you will...coming from the trees. 

Here's where I have to pause the story for a second and explain how crazy I am.  Whenever I jog in the neighborhood at home, I'm constantly on the lookout for dogs.  I was attacked by a stupid, little dog when I was a little girl and I've been afraid of them ever since.  So while I'm running, any little noise triggers this survival instinct in me and I start looking for a place to climb...like the bed of a neighbors truck, on top of a mailbox, what have you...

Back to the moaning...

As soon as I heard it, I start eyeing up the pine trees.  "Yeah, that one looks good, I can probably climb up that one."  Then I start thinking...there aren't any dogs in the woods in Sylvania.  This is weird.  Then I thought it...what if it was a bear?!?!  I wouldn't know what to do, other than climb a tree...and can't bears climb trees better than humans?  I probably couldn't outrun a bear...and that's probably not what you're supposed to do anyway.  Do you play dead?  (I think my suburban roots are really showing in this.)  So, I stopped in my tracks, imagination running wild...and slowly turned back around towards the house (which, by the way is completely out of sight...if I was attacked by a bear, my body wouldn't exactly be noticeable from their front porch).

I started walking...slowly...then faster...then I was practically jogging in my flip-flops back to the house.  I cut across the field, trying to distance myself from the pine trees and that mysterious noise (that I'd only heard that one time).  I was breathing a little easier, probably because my body would be noticeable from the front porch now...and they might even be able to hear me scream for help!

Then I made it...back into the safety of the house (and the a/c...thank God for that!).  Sam just kind of looked at me.  And then all at once, it hit me. 

How ridiculous was it that I had just run from an imaginary bear?

Maybe now would be the time to figure out what I should do in case I ever were to encounter a bear, which, I've been informed, are not particularly prevalent in Screven County, Georgia.  I have also been informed that it was probably just a bird.  Color me embarrassed.

And this is what happens to adults with overactive imaginations...


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