Late in the Month of November 2011, as the full Beaver’s moon, slipped up over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and began his silent assent over the Beautiful Shenandoah Valley, He noticed immediately that something was amiss on Paradise Mountain.. He watched with growing concern as his forest friends scurried to the great meeting place.. Something was indeed wrong.. No one was there to make the grand entrance from Bearingham Palace.. Where was the King of the Forest? Second in Command- a beautiful Buck was calling the meeting to order.. “Has anyone seen His Majesty- the Bear?” All was quiet.. Finally Israel the Rabbit spoke- his nose twitching as he did.. “Well, we all saw that pickup.. And I’m fairly confident he was on the back.. Now you Know I was never a big fan of His Majesty- Those huge claws scared me to death.. But what’s to become of us now?!” Tears welled up in his big eyes and one rolled down his cheek. At this point Valiant, the blaze orange collar wearing deer, injected some wisdom.. “I feel like I know the people family.. I have their heart.. There must be some detail we are missing..” Someone at this point moved that there be a detective deputized to research the case, and before the meeting was adjourned- Sherlock the Owl- was hired.. He accepted his new position with the regalness that only a trained private eye could.. And the animals of the forest silently slipped out into the darkness.. No one slept much that night.. What could’ve gone wrong?
The next night, same place.. An apprehensive group of animals gathered.. And Mr Sherlock presented all the cold hard facts.. “Years ago, before most of you were born, this kingdom was ruled by a deer- Mr Monroe.. He was gentle and kind and we all loved him.. But one cold day, He was feeding in the cornfield, and he never returned. Our friend- the Bear- was only a young cub at that point- but showed such promise as a leader, that we voted him into command immediately.. thus changing the name of the Palace from Buckingham to Bearingham.. One change with the new leadership, was he proposed that we pass a law that the cornfield was off limits in the fall.. This was a really hard ruling for a lot of the animal kingdom, but he worked tirelessly to get it passed. And eventually he prevailed. This worked well. There is plenty of food for us here in the forest anyways. But in more recent years, there’s been a change come over His Majesty.. His eyes seemed a little more shifty if you ask me.. And his nights are largely unaccounted for.. We considered having His palace bugged, but the grubs that we hired, he feasted on.. So there went that.. More than one report came in this fall of spotting him staggering along the edge of the forest, singing to himself in a drunken sort of way.. The smell of corn distinctly on his breath.. And so in conclusion, I propose that Mr Bear was spending time in the cornfield.. He seemed to be longing for that for years, even though he’d made the law himself.. And I believe the people family caught him there.. How can we prevent this in the future? Realize that Crime doesn’t pay.. You reap what you sow.. The corn may be greener on the other side of the forest, but greed ends in casualty.. Don’t expect out of others what you aren’t willing to do yourself.. I regret to inform you, from all my research, it is apparent that Mr Bear will no longer rule the forest. I move that we crown the Second in Command, and learn from Mr Bear’s mistake.. Stay away from the farmer’s cornfield..”
So thus began a new chapter in the history of Paradise Mountain.. The animals adjusted quickly and all lived happily ever after..
We are “beary” excited to have Em’s bear home after spending a long time away at the taxidermist.. He was indeed bagged Nov of 2011 thanks to a damage permit and a friend’s 30-06 at 260 yards during harvest at our place.. He was a healthy fellow dressed weight being 258 lbs. We were a little apprehensive about all this bear meat, as the reports we had on bear feasts were not that favorable- but he was very obviously corn fed for a long time and the meat was fantastic.. My favorite memory was the hours Emily put into making jerky for my trip to Guatemala and the expression on the native’s faces as they attempted to understand what kind of meat this was..
So now I can’t wait until this evening when Detroit scratches on our patio door asking for attention.. I’ve got a little friend I want to introduce him to.. And He’s gonna be excited.. 🙂 So
if when he barks tonight, Mother, it may be to warn you of the half mount in your livingroom.. 🙂
Blessings on your week,