The bear came last night. A sow, a big momma, a big hungry momma. Even though we’d hidden the bin, she tore the critter-proof lid off and devoured the remnants of human meals past.
This was the first bear we’d seen in the backyard. There had been signs before, but never a face-to-face encounter. Bang. She lumbered off at my prompting, down the hill to the orchard, away from the ripped open garbage to the ripe apples. Dessert. Away from the humans.
This morning I inspected our fence line and the orchard. Just like a human, the greed of one generation destroys the sustainability for future ones. She snapped the last remaining branch on a wizened apple tree, and ate all the apples. Hoover. Footprints through the vegetable patch.
The other trees in the orchard are not ready yet, but soon. Will the bear come back for more?