This picture is of my son, Rick, me and Itzy, on top of Satulah Mountain in Highlands, North Carolina, with a gorgeous 365-degree panoramic view.
In 1980, my husband brought me home a picture book on animal skat, making our kids go on “poop hikes” identifying whose skat was whose. The girls were appalled, but Rick found it fascinating.
One day, young Rick hiked the trail in front of our house down the mountain to Lower Satulah Waterfall. He lay on a rock at the foot of a high waterfall enjoying God’s world, and then started back up the trail he had come down an hour or so before. But halfway up, in the center of the trail, he almost stepped in a big goopy, still steaming, brown mess of berries and grass. Rick knew it was bear poop and knew the bear had just done it!
He nervously looked around, his heart beating so loudly he couldn’t have heard a bear if it growled at him. But remembering what the skat book said to do, he whistled and loudly talked to all the nearby critters that might be listening, as he rapidly hiked back up to our house.
Arriving home safely, he told his sisters: “Nah, I wasn’t scared, but if I HAD seen that bear, it’s a good thing I had my knife, cause I’ve always wanted a bear-skin rug!”
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