Early last evening, my wife ran into my study with a look of delight and excitement on her face. “Chris!” she exclaimed! “The town’s auto call system just called, and it was to report that a black bear has been seen in Riverdale!”
I shared her excitement immediately, because “Riverdale” is the name of one of the neighborhoods in the town that we live in, and we live in Riverdale! Our neighborhood of Riverdale is not large, so I looked at Jean and said, “Well then let’s go look out a window and maybe we can wave “Hi!” to the bear, since he might be visiting our backyard right now!” So like a couple of kids suddenly excited by Mom & Dad telling us we were going on a big adventure, we ran to one of the backyard windows and eagerly looked outside.
But the “Riverdale black bear” was not there in our backyard, so we ran to the front of the house, to see if the bear was paying us a more formal visit, by way of our front yard. But still no bear… I looked at Jean and said “I’ll bet he’s over at the McNallys’ house, cause Mary McNally is always the first to greet new arrivals in the neighborhood, and she probably gave the bear a fruit basket and some fresh baked cookies.” My wife’s pretty eyes danced and sparkled as she laughed.
We never did get to meet the Riverdale black bear, but later we heard that he was spotted in South Needham, the next town over from us, and one of those wealthy upper class and snooty communities, where if the residents saw the bear, they probably looked at him with condescending and superior attitudes, when the bear didn’t pull up in a Mercedes. “Does this bear understand what it means to live in South Needham?” they probably asked each other, with their skeptical and ‘quick to disapprove of and dismiss’ facial expressions.
And if only I was there, I would have quickly answered them, by replying “I won’t tell the bear what a drag it is to live in South Needham if you don’t, but I’m sure the bear would soon find out just how unbearable it is to have people like you for neighbors, without me giving away your ugly secrets. Like how you wouldn’t allow Jews in the South Needham Country Club until 1972, and how shockingly progressive of you to move forward on that issue so quickly!”
There have been no more sightings of the black bear around our area that I know of, but I hope that he headed for Natick, cause it’s a nice town with more down to earth and friendly people, who aren’t so mean spirited, arrogant and full of their own overblown egos.
But my guess is that the black bear who came to visit our Riverdale neighborhood, but then made the mistake of crossing over into South Needham, is now long gone from these parts. Those dickheads and their trophy wife gold diggers probably offended the bear’s dignity, by demanding that he submit a financial report for his business, along with proof of his annual personal income, and a complete family genealogy to the South Needham HOA within a week, and no later.
Our Riverdale bear would never have a chance in South Needham anyway, because our Riverdale bear is black, and they’d never allow a black bear to live in their lily white community.
Yeah, I’m sure we’ll never see our Riverdale black bear around here again. I just know that those South Needham A-holes made our black bear guest feel so insulted and unwelcome, that he growled “Well fuck this shit, and I don’t know why I wasted the trip to come down here! I’m high tailing my black bear ass back up to Lincoln New Hampshire, and going back to my job in the bear show at Clark’s Trading Post!”
So as our former Riverdale neighborhood black bear ambled along through the woods parallel to Intestate 93 North and back into New Hampshire, he was alone with his thoughts as he reviewed the pros and cons of his life…
‘Some of those tricks that they make me do at Clark’s are pretty stupid and kinda degrading, but at least when I do them, people clap for me and they look happy. Folks up there treat me like a black bear celebrity, and they get in line and wait eagerly to see my performances, after spending their hard earned cash to buy tickets for my show.’
‘Maybe I was taking that too much for granted when I took off, because now I know it’s just so much better than those rich and racist snobs in South Needham treating me like bear shit in the woods, while acting like I’m a potential criminal, and a threat to their sky high property values. And I can just imagine their reaction when I tried to date one of their daughters!’
‘I guess that I was just in a real bear of a mood the other day, when I demanded a 20% raise in my bear kibble, and a raw sirloin steak for dessert from now on. And demanding 10% of the gate was just unrealistic in these hard economic times, and really asking for trouble. It’s no wonder Mr. Clark got so angry and told me to go do what a bear does in the woods!’
‘Maybe when I talk to Clark about getting my job back, I’ll try to seem much more reasonable, and if I treat him with the proper respect, he’ll be more receptive to a compromise when I tell him that I know my demand for 10% of the gate wasn’t fair, and asking for a 20% raise in bear kibble was excessive.’
‘Yeah, that might work… I’ll offer him a return of my services as his star bear performer in The Clark’s Trading Post bear show, in return for only a 10% raise in bear kibble, and throwing in that raw sirloin steak for my dessert. Clark’s a pretty reasonable guy, and I think he’ll go for it.’
‘So I guess this whole trip down south was one of those learning experiences in life for me. I learned that the grass isn’t really greener on the other side of the border down in those Boston suburbs, and in some places, the bigger the lawn is, the bigger the asshole is who owns it.’
This news just in: Daniel Clark, owner of “Clark’s Trading Post” in Lincoln New Hampshire, and star bear show performer Brendon the Black Bear have reached an agreement to resume working together, after a recent disagreement and falling out. Complete details of Brendon’s renegotiated contract were not disclosed, but according to an anonymous source, a daily dessert of raw sirloin steak made the formerly disgruntled black bear very happy, and ready to rejoin the bear show.
After both parties reached a final agreement, Clark punched Brendon in the nose, but claimed that “Hey I was kidding around, and that bastard of a bear is lying if he says he doesn’t like it.” Brendon was unavailable for comment, since he had to get ready for his return to the bear show.
Brendon riding his Razor Scooter around the ring during the bear show. When asked by a reporter how he felt about the way things worked out, Brendon said, “Hey, I’m still doing the same old lame ass tricks, but my fans love me, and now I’ve got that raw sirloin steak dessert to look forward to after every show, so life is good and I’m happy!”
Unlike some of this post, “Clark’s Trading Post” is not a result of my over caffeinated imagination, but one of the oldest and still ongoing attractions in the White Mountains region of Northern New Hampshire, since 1928. My parents brought me there when I was still in diapers, and we took my daughter to Clark’s almost 30 years ago when she was three years old.
But she didn’t see much of the bear show, because she became fascinated by a very large rat just inside the chain link fencing around the bear show ring, and she wouldn’t stop watching the rat chowing down on some stray pellets of bear kibble.
No matter how much her mother and I tried to get her attention off the rat, and get her to watch the black bears instead, she would go back to watching the rat again, while repeating “pretty kitty… pretty kitty.” over and over again. I tend to see this incident as absolute proof that she is my child, not that there’s ever been any doubt.
She’s now an attractive and intelligent, good natured young woman, who is also an expectant mother, and maybe in the not too distant future, she will bring her child to Clark’s Trading Post. Hopefully there will be no large and distracting rats there, to be called “pretty kitty” because certain “eccentricities” in my extended family seem to be passed down from one generation to the next. Including myself, I know of more than a few of my relatives, who are convincing examples of this genetic progression of unusual personalities and behavior.
Clark’s Trading Post has lots of other things to see and do besides seeing the bear show, and it’s a good place for kids to have fun. So if you’re ever in the area, with children aged 4-10 years old, you might enjoy checking it out.
BTW, there really was a black bear sighting in our neighborhood yesterday, which is definitely a first, and a pretty amazing occurrence. Hopefully the bear’s presence won’t result in any harm to either the bear or the humans, and this story will have a happy ending for all involved.