It’s been a couple of days since anybody saw Ninja Bear, now probably wounded but nobody knows how badly. Lots of rifles in evidence, but no bear.
Yesterday was a long day. Move a bunch of stuff to M’s Dome, then eight hours of geiger counters, then I took the trailer over to another neighbor who had a bunch of drainage gravel he wanted to get rid of. Shovel the gravel into the trailer, drive through the wash to the Secret Lair, empty the trailer into the leach ditch. Go home, let the boys out, write a promised piece for The Independent Spirit. (Note the subtlety of that plug?)
So it was sometime after seven, I’d just jacked in a movie and was relaxing with an adult beverage, and the phone rings. It’s my neighbor D. “Just occurred to me, Joel. [Our weekender neighbors S&L] are coming up tomorrow evening. Have you checked around their place for signs of that bear?”
Well, no. I hadn’t. When did I become the neighborhood bear warden? But it was a pretty good idea, now that it had been raised. I wasn’t gonna do it at dusk, though. Come to think of it, they’ve got a big opening into their crawlspace. I wasn’t gonna do it at all, without somebody at my back with a big spotlight. It just so happens that GC Guy bought himself a big spotlight, just the other day.
So this afternoon after geiger counters, GC Guy and I loaded up and drove to S&L’s.
That’s the house, and everything’s quiet. The opening I remember is over to the left. Quietly, let’s go.
Well, whadaya know? He bricked it up. I didn’t have anything to worry about anyway. While we’re here let’s just do a circuit of the house…
There’s a likely place. May as well be thorough.
Aw, crap. Double crap. Crap on toast. This episode was badly written. Why’d he leave that open?
Shine your light over to the left…
Nothing there. Time for the fun part.
Well, it was my idea. Stupid idea, but mine own. Time for Uncle Joel to play tunnel rat.
I put down my rifle, took the spotlight and a handgun, and did the bravest thing I’ve done in quite a while…
If there’d been a bear in there, S would have owed me a pair of pants.