Saturday, July 31, 2010

Grizzly Bears

"Arcotophobia" is the term for "fear of bears", althought there is a lot of discussion as to whether it is a phobia.  Bears really are scary.  The term is not in, but it does show up elsewhere.

In any case, I think I have a bonafide case of arcotophobia.  As a kid, many of my nightmares involved bears coming into our house, and chasing me down the stairs and into the street.  Of course, as in all dreams like this, I tried to scream and no one helped.  At seven or eight, I read a Sports Illustrated article on a grizzly attack in Glacier National Park.  I was way too young to read that article. When I was 13 or 14 our family went camping deep in the Sierra Nevada, using horses and mules to get to our campsite.  At night, I was convinced every sound I heard was a bear, and when I had to go into the forest to go to the bathroom, well, you've never seen a girl pee so fast.  I don't think I slept much that week.

During my recent visit to Montana, there was a lot of talk about bears.  All I know is, I did NOT want to see one.  I've seen them in the wild, twice:  once in Yellowstone (don't even bring up the recent grizzly attack there) and once near Mt. Shasta, when a scrawny black bear crossed the road in front of our car, not 20 yards away.  (Is that bad luck, like black cats crossing in front of you?)

There's more than a little irony in all this.  My famlly and some of my friends call me "Mare Bear", my favorite stuffed animal was a Stieff bear, and my oldest son has a tattoo of a grizzly bear on his upper back.  Talk about being forced to confront one's fears!

1 comment:

  1. little bear... little beairrrr... i love that l'il guy!
    i feel he must be some sort of protector for you.
    may you always have a Stieff bear to safeguard your dreams...!