Humor Non-Fiction posted August 19, 2016 Chapters:  ...49 50 -51- 53... 

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A chapter in the book Let's Laugh 4

Bed and Breakfast

by Barb Hensongispsaca

When I lived in the far Northern reaches of Ontario, Canada, I inadvertently started a different type of bed and breakfast. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a bed and breakfast is a place that offers a room for the night and breakfast served the next morning to get you on your way.

I lived in a town called Nakina which boasted a population of two thousand. That figure was stretched to include the native reserve sixteen kilometers away. Nakina is the last town on a paved road, therefore, the only way into anything north of that is by plane. If any of you have read my poems, you will remember that this is what I refer to as 'bear and moose' country.

During the winter, bears hibernated west of my cabin; then, when the spring thaw rolled around and the bears awakened from their long winter slumber, they made their way across my front yard to the local dump where they would spend the rest of the year eating the local cuisine that no one else wanted. When we took our garbage to the dump, it was nothing to see around nine bears in the pit. They would look up at us and patiently wait as we unloaded the truck into their waiting paws.

One day, I loaded the truck with garbage to haul it off; but, before I even drove out of the driveway, a black bear climbed into the back of my truck and started rummaging through the sealed bags. Now, if you remember your history on bears, their paws are the size of basketballs and their claws are sharp as knives. In no time, the bags were open and he was enjoying a feast.

Since I was too far away from the house to get out of the truck, I used my phone to call animal control for advice. I was told to start the truck and drive it around, being assured by the experts that the bear would become fearful and get out of the truck. Since he seemed unfazed by the sound of the truck when I started it, I decided to try their idea. Let me tell you, he rode around in the back of my truck for a good thirty minutes as I weaved back and forth like a drunk driver. I would start and stop erratically, only to see him roll around in the back of the truck, happily munching on a stale loaf of bread.

Running out of gas and not wanting to scare the gas attendant-yes, we had people that pumped the gas, I decided to drive back home and park the truck as close to the front door as I could and make a run for it. He seemed pretty happy where he was.

Luckily, when I pulled into my driveway, the neighbor was walking his dog. The dog started barking, the bear looked up from his final bite, and slowly climbed off the truck to meander into the woods.

This is the 'breakfast' part. Now, sit back and let me tell you about the 'bed' part.

Believe it or not, I had a wringer washer and loved using it. I also had a dryer of sorts-a solar dryer. Summer or winter, the clothes were hung on the clothesline. The summer was great for drying because the wind, where I lived, was always blowing, whipping the clothes until they were dry and fluffy. During the winter, they froze as they hung on the line, then the wind whipped them till they were pliable.

One night, I forgot to bring the clothes in and woke the next morning to a strange sight. The clothes were all off the line as if a tornado had ripped them down. They were strewn all over the back yard. Hoping they were still clean, I took my basket with me as I went out back to pick them up. It was then I realized that not only were they thrown haphazardly on the ground, they had also been slept on and kneaded as a kitten would do to make its bed soft.

I knew what the culprit was when I saw the claw marks on some of the shirts that had been shredded during the kneading process. Never again did I leave clothes on the line overnight.

I decided not to open my bed and breakfast for bears due to the fact that their taste would be too expensive for my budget.

Non-Fiction Writing Contest contest entry


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