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BEARS

October 6, 2003 |


Dear Mr. Keillor,
Imagine my surprise to hear at church yesterday that a woman in Lake Wobegon had the very same experience as I with a bear sitting on our deck in a settee, gingerly eating sunflower seeds out of the birdfeeder. I wonder if she has any advice as to encouraging him to move on. Somehow not even the loud noise of my husband testing out our generator scared the bear off. What do you suggest as a prudent course of action?
—Heidi Stevenson

Heidi,
There is no expertise here concerning bears. I never encountered one. (Cowardice has served me well all my life.) People who have encountered bears seem to suggest that they hope not to encounter another. Apparently, running is a bad idea—they're fast—and climbing isn't the answer, and fighting may not be a good choice either. You do what you must do. You let the bear get what it came for and then try to make it scarce for next time. Glad to hear you're safe.

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