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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

A bear chased my grandmother out of the woods.

Since she survived without a scratch, there are a couple of funny things about a bear chasing Grandma Throcky out of the woods. First, Grandma Throcky was an extraordinarily competent woman, so for her to have to run from anything is funny in and of itself. She could single-handedly row a boat in and out of narrow docks or a reedy shore (as could I in my prime). She could start an outboard motor which most women could not, would not do as the rope is hard to pull and hurts your hands, and the motor sometimes kicks back. She played the organ in church for most of her adult life. She kept a spotless house, even the closets. She cooked effortlessly, even when dinner guests were unexpected. She excelled at her challenging and diverse job as a city recreation director when others would not even consider the job. She supported both her mother and her son in relative comfort. In many ways she was my hero. But. When someone so extremely accomplished get routed by a bear and runs screaming and flailing, then that's funny.

And when Grandma Throcky came screaming out of the Canadian woods where we were vacationing by houseboat, our family looked quickly to see what the commotion was about, saw no bear, and fell about ourselves laughing. That angered her for years, she saw no humor in it. She said the bear was big, she said it was on her heels as she ran through the woods, for over a minute, maybe more. Then, when we realized that she had been out in the woods to answer nature's call, that made it even funnier. It seemed to even the score for all the times my great-grandmother would open an outhouse door on her great-grandchildren, so that my grandmother could take a photograph of us, caught at our most unphotogenic. I inherited those little snapshots and I threw them all away. If Grandma Throcky were still here on Earth to hear me say so sorry you were frightened, she would get angry again for accusing her of being frightened. Sometimes humor is the best that can be done.

Caption: A bear like this one chased Grandma Throcky out of the woods.

Next Channel-screen capture 2018

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