Altha’s first instinct was to scream her lungs out for help and run away as fast as she could. It took every ounce of strength she had to not give in to the panic and fear she felt. But she knew this would only make things worse, so she took a deep breath and managed to stay quiet and calm.
Careful not to make eye contact with the bear, Altha kept her eye on her body and movements to gauge what her next move would be. As scared as she was, Altha had been living next to a vast wilderness for most of her life, and she knew a thing or two about co-existing with animals.
A Seemingly Normal Day
It was one of those warm summer afternoons that seemed to last for ages, and Altha was enjoying a cool glass of water on her cozy porch. The porch was her favorite part of the house since, from there, she could look out to the forests and natural paradise that surrounded her.
Since Altha had strong air conditioning throughout her house during the scorching summer heat, she often alternated between her living room and the outside porch when she would get too cold. This time, she had taken a book with her, thinking she would stay on her beloved porch for hours.
An Unexpected Visitor
As she headed towards the porch swing with her book and her glass of water, Altha had no idea what awaited her outside. She’d barely been sitting outside for two minutes when suddenly, a strange noise made her turn around. The sound was a ruffling of leaves as if someone were approaching her porch from within the patch of trees that surrounded her home.
Altha got up from the porch swing and looked closer at the spot where the noise was coming from. What she saw next left her breathless – it was a huge black bear and her three cubs approaching her. Altha knew that whenever an animal was with its cubs, it was at its most defensive and dangerous.
It Wasn’t Her First Encounter
One of the reasons for Altha’s ability to calm herself was the fact that this wasn’t the first time she’d encountered a bear. Considering that her house was right next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Altha was no stranger to bears walking across her lush lawn and backyard.
Even though having a bear walk into your yard is never an ideal situation, Altha knew this was part of living outdoors. One had to compromise since, in the end, this land belonged to the animals long before humans settled down in the area. The bears usually used her lawn as a passage to another part of the forest, never approaching her or the house.
A Source of Interest
Altha had a big, beautiful apple tree in her backyard, which the bears loved to eat from. She knew removing this tree would significantly minimize bear visits, but she wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her scrumptious apples. So, she figured she’d let them pass through her lawn, grab a few apples, and be on their way.
She would learn all the necessary steps to take in case there was ever a bear that got aggressive, and in that way, she could live in peace with nature and its animals and enjoy her delightful apples. But nothing had prepared her for what happened that summer in June 2022.