I slowly reach up and pull the headphones off my head. Now, I can I hear the huffing of his breath, and the occasional grunt as he tastes the air with his snout. I realize I am shaking with fear and anger. The anger surprises me. I’m about to get mauled by this beast, and I am angry. The bear rises on it’s haunches and bellows.

“Come at me, mother fucker!” The profanity snaps off my tongue like the crack of a whip. I just don’t care anymore. I am tired of being frightened and bullied.

The bear bellows once more and drops its front legs to the ground. I stand and glare. Real or imagined, I am not backing down from this fight. The bear grunts a few times, then turns to go. As he retreats around the back of the barn, I run inside and drop to my knees, my legs limp like wet noodles.

My entire body is shaking as I pull the phone out of my pocket. Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! I scroll through my contacts. I need to warn them. I have to let them know about the bear. I feel paralyzed for a second time. Who do I contact? What do I say? There’s a giant brown bear in the yard? A brown bear? A black bear maybe, but a brown bear? I sit listening. I’m not sure what I am listening for. Am I hoping for the silence of nothingness, or the russeling confirmation of an intruder. I hear nothing.

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