The Wednesday morning sun glared off my mirrored sunglasses as the highway twisted and turned up and down in the Meadows of Dan. The wind blew the sleep out of my eyes and ruffled the dog in the back seat’s red coat.
In front of me an oil battered “farm use only” Chevy pickup with no exhaust popped and screamed up the road. Suddenly the driver swerved to the left lane in a chug of accelerated exhaust and I sat staring wildly into the face of a 400 pound brown bear who showed no fear nor terror in his stoic gaze. We locked eyes.
I was helpless. The crunch of plastic, metal, glass and fur surrounded me. I heard the silent groan of deeply rooted pain. My front tire on the driver’s side rose and dropped over the carcass. In my rear view mirror, I saw the blood and body parts rolling towards the shoulder.
I stopped my badly beaten truck and cried. For the victim, for the wildness I had tamed, for they chain of natural events my driving would surely produce. However, I cried mostly for all of us: those that made the trucks and those that drive them. Then I started the broken machine and drove to the farm to pick blueberries while telling the bear tale to any who would listen, leaving out essential elements of the story to protect the guilty and the innocent.