My family has five kids in it: Danny, Noni (thatís me), Nina, Sarah, and Allen Paul. As you can guess, getting to do stuff by yourself doesnít happen very often. But once, Nina and I got to stay with Grandma and Grandpa all by ourselves. We were really excited.
Grandma and Grandpa live on a farm in Northern Minnesota. There are lots of woods around and lots to do. Grandmaís house is very special and itís very small. There are only three rooms and a root cellar. I love to go down into the root cellar to get stuff like jam and pickles. It smells like fresh dirt. I guess thatís because it is just a dirt hole under the kitchen floor.
One morning, Nina and I got up for breakfast. Things were not quite normal. Grandma and Grandpa were a bit nervous about something. The phone rang a few times and Grandpa talked with my uncles and some of the neighbours. Grandma told us we could not go outside to play.
I donít know if anyone ever told us what was happening or if we just figured it out. What we found out was pretty scary, at least for a kid. There was a bear running around killing cows and sheep on the neighbouring farms. Some of the neighbours and my uncles had formed a posse to hunt the bear. The bear had been wounded in a trap and was very angry. The adults were afraid he might start attacking kids instead of cows.
Later that morning, we were sitting in the kitchen. Grandma looked out the window and saw the bear. He was down the road, standing on his hind legs by the crab apple tree. She went outside to tell Grandpa. Nina and I were so scared that we locked the door. Grandma and Grandpa had to bang on the door really loud and talk to us to get us to unlock it. They did not want to be stuck out side with the bear. We finally let them in. I bet they were scared too.
A few minutes later, one of my uncles drove up the road in his car. The bear ran out into the pasture. My uncle got out of his car and walked out into the pasture to get a better shot, but the bear charged at him. He didn't have time to get his gun ready. We watched him run back to his car. He had to jump over the hood of his car and dive in through the open window on the other side. The bear jumped right up on the top of his car after him. That was very scary to watch. We were so glad he made it. He drove away to get help from the other hunters.
Later in the day, Grandpa got a phone call from someone. The bear had been shot. They would be bringing him out of the woods about a mile from Grandpaís house. We all got in the car and drove off to see the bear. There were lots of relatives and neighbours there when we arrived. I talked with my cousin while we waited.
I will never forget the moment they brought that bear out of the woods. He was so big. I was frightened, even though I knew he was dead. They carried him over a very large pole, cut from a tree. His paws were bound over the pole and tied together. He looked so big and so powerful. Even though he was dead, I was awed by his strength.
The men all gathered to skin the bear and divide up the meat. The boys were all allowed to stay and watch, but we girls were told that it was not something we should see. Although I wanted to watch, I was secretly glad that I did not have to admit I was scared. This time it was probably better to be a girl!