The Star-Herald

Presque Isle treasures, Part 3

To the editor:

The one bad thing about walking in the morning first thing is it’s so darn early. As a result, when I first head out the door, my body is still partially “paralyzed,” my mind is in a bit of a fog and my eyes are filled with “sleepy seeds,” as my mom called them.

I’m writing this letter July 23 having finished my walk and am still in a bit of a befuddled state. I had just started down Hardy Street and was partway down the woodlot next door before I saw it. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me at first. I mean, how could I get so close to something this fearsome and alive and moving and not notice it? There in the middle of the road was a huge black bear. I’ve been a Maine resident all my life, practically, and I’ve seen plenty of bears. So when I say this bear was huge, it was a giant as black bears go.

Believe it or not, I saw it before it saw me. I froze and just watched it in both terror and fascination for what I estimated to be about 10 seconds. As soon as the bruin got wind of me it did an immediate 180 and bounded down the street and then turned into the woods.

Of course, being a mature, wizened Mainer, I resumed walking towards where the bear had been — heck no, I didn’t. As soon as the bear disappeared into the woods and I gained control of my leg muscles, I did a 180, too, and high-tailed it out of there as quickly as this 66-year-old can walk.

Needless to say, I didn’t walk anywhere near my normal course that morning. I gave that bear a wide berth.

Thing is, I wonder how many times I passed that woodlot before with that bear just inside the woods pondering the possibilities.

Clare Kierstead
Presque Isle

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