Kamchatka Land of 10,000 Bears, Part 18, An explanation is in order.

by david on March 4, 2020

After getting cleaned up and supplied with a sundowner, I asked Julia to call Igor and Vasili to request their presence for a few moments. When they got there I told her I needed some better information about the big bear they wanted me to pass on. It turns out there were two reasons they wanted me to pass on this bear. The first was due to his age he had very few teeth. That I could have lived with. One of the easily recognizable signs of age is a lack of teeth. I wanted an old bear, so this particular bear actually looking like an old bear was a bonus as far as I was concerned. The other was a deal breaker. Evidently, mice sometimes get into a bear’s den while the bear is hibernating. When they do, the mice have a nasty habit of using the bear’s fur to line their own nest. Lots of mice equal lots of nests, equal the need for lots of bear fur. This poor fellow was just about bald in places. He reminded me of the bear in the old John Candy movie “The Great Outdoors”. Candy told a story of a baldheaded bear whose hair had been removed by an errant shotgun blast. This old bear could have been the star. Igor explained that about 90% of the old fellow’s coat was severely damaged by the mice and that he almost cried when he got close enough to see the bear clearly. It was a shame the bear had to suffer through the mice infestation but, in the long run, the mice had saved his life. If he survives another winter, he should make someone a truly magnificent trophy.

Dinner was light and filling. We had a few small fish lightly breaded and fried, some rabbit with potatoes, and a cold vegetable. It was nice and filling without being heavy or having a lot of calories. After dinner I had one piece of chocolate and a few cups of coffee to wind up the evening. Somehow, even with the extra caffeine, I dozed off on the couch. I woke up about 9:00 stiff and groggy so it was time to bid Julia good evening and head off to bed.

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