yes we have no marshmallows

14 July 2009

Sunday evening I drive up to Muskoka for a week-long class in the Expressive Arts certificate program I’ve been taking at the Haliburton School of the Arts.  A few years ago I found Georgeina’s place at Eagle Lake, which she rents for a song.  It’s the lower apartment of her home, which sits high on a hill, at the end of Angel Road, looking over a gorgeous valley with a million colours of green, and Eagle Lake.  There are two bedrooms, a kitchen equipped with everything you could possibly need, a bathroom about four times the size of mine at home, and a barbeque and outdoor furniture and even a bug tent sitting on a large deck that wraps around the back of the place.  Like the living area, the main bedroom has sliding glass doors that open out to that deck and that stunning view, and it’s here that I sit writing in bed with morning coffee, listening to a local radio program.

On my arrival Sunday, my lovely host comes outside to greet me.  “I’ve had a pesky bear visitor these past several days” she says.  It seems the bear opened an unlocked door and got into her house one day while she was out, found a bag of marshmallows in the cupboard, and has been returning for more treats every day.  The persistent young fella, she says, tries to open all the doors, and doesn’t seem to frighten easily.  She’s called the Ministry of Natural Resources to come and trap the guy and I try not to think of my conception of old, inhumane bear traps.  But she’s got grandchildren staying with her, and now a wussy Torontonian and no one wants to get in the way of a hungry bear.  The MNR has not yet acted though, and Georgeina’s taken to scaring the bear away with firecrackers.  She left his paw prints on my living room sliding glass door as a reminder to me to keep them locked. 

This city girl is at once creeped out and annoyed that this bear is messing with my plans to sit on that deck and wash the world out of my system, and barbeque my nightly meals amidst the scent of all that green stuff out there.  I shiver at the thought of waking up to a big fat creature messing around at the door of my bedroom with the stunning view.  In fact, on the first night, I close the curtains against any and all big furry wakeup calls. 

But after living with the idea overnight, I’m okay with the marshmallow eating Bear.  This is Muskoka after all, a gateway to the vast northern Ontario, and for the residents here, bears are part of life.  Granted, I am walking cautiously to my car, and all the doors are for certain locked, and double checked.  But I’ve got to actually start hoping for the chance to take a picture of our guy.  And last night, I even left the curtains open.  Not for the furry wakeup call, but to take back that view.

View from my bedroom

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