From Anonymous - 19 Jun 2007
Thank you for communicating about the bears, I am
hearing horrors from all corners of bear country, including right here
in the Catskills where huge percent of their remaining numbers are
"taken" each year in 'bear season'. In recent years I no longer find
their tracks, their overturned rocks, nor have I seen one ambling around
with their amazing intelligence and curiosity and beauty in the dawn
hours as I used to, for years now.
I offer this poem from Mary Oliver, reminding us of
the unfounded fears of the beautiful, magnificent black bears in our
The Chance to Love Everything
By Mary Oliver
All summer I made friends
with the creatures nearby ---
they flowed through the fields
and under the tent walls,
or padded through the door,
grinning through their many teeth,
looking for seeds,
suet, sugar; muttering and humming,
opening the breadbox, happiest when
there was milk and music. But once
in the night I heard a sound
outside the door, the canvas
bulged slightly ---something
was pressing inward at eye level.
I watched, trembling, sure I had heard
the click of claws, the smack of lips
outside my gauzy house ---
I imagined the red eyes,
the broad tongue, the enormous lap.
Would it be friendly too?
Fear defeated me. And yet,
not in faith and not in madness
but with the courage I thought
my dream deserved,
I stepped outside. It was gone.
Then I whirled at the sound of some
Did I see a black haunch slipping
back through the trees? Did I see
the moonlight shining on it?
Did I actually reach out my arms
toward it, toward paradise falling, like
the fading of the dearest, wildest hope ---
the dark heart of the story that is all
the reason for its telling?
Oliver, Mary. "The Chance to Love Everything." Dream Work. Boston:
Atlantic Monthly Press, 1986, 8-9.