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#56 Knock, knock, who’s there?

July 07th, 2016

Went to the Canada Day birthday party down at the Museum building. Took my fourteen-going-on-fifteen-year-old hound mix “Min” with me, on the leash, of course, because I don’t want Min to bring home anybody else’s child.

Min loves little people. Little people love Min. But some parents get funny about a big dog walking up to a small child and the leash seems to soothe them.

When the smallish crowd began to sing O Canada, Min put her houndy nose in the air and sang along. She’s very musical, my Min, and she continued to sing through This Land Is My Land, as well.

Of course, there was birthday cake, a huge one, half of it was white, the other half was chocolate, and we had our choice, so I took white because chocolate isn’t good for dogs.  People seemed blown away by the fact my Min can eat cake from a fork. Of course, I have to hold the fork, Min doesn’t have thumbs.

“Oh look,” said some, “look, that dog can eat off a fork.” Made me wonder about how they treat their furry friends. I can’t imagine a dog which is unable to learn how to eat from a fork. Min can, Carbon can, Lox can, and Smiley D. Guy could.

Today, I was just finishing the dishes and Min started grumbling. She’s starting to show her age, she’s losing some of the muscle bulk in her hind end and she sleeps much of the time. She doesn’t grumble often, but there she was, and she was also pacing, from one end of the sardine can to the other, muttering and mumbling and obviously uneasy.

I heard something/someone on the porch but nobody knocked at the door so I almost dismissed it all, but then I heard it again so I walked over and opened the door.

And there, no more than five or six inches away, was a big black bear. His nose was easily as big as my fist. So I closed the door and made a not-the-least-bit graceful leap for the air horn my daughter gave me. It lives atop my fridge.

I didn’t reopen the door. I went to the side window. The bear was very slowly ambling down the wheelchair ramp so I leaned forward, and cut loose with the air horn. He took off! Full-tilt boogie.

Small wonder, the air horn was only inches from his ear! Just to be sure, I gave him a few more blasts and he charged into the wall of green behind my place and vanished.

Min continued to grumble. But I wasn’t about to turn her loose, she’s not as agile as she was and I don’t want to lose my dog. A neighbour suggested I phone Conservation and report it but I’m not going to do that.

Conservation used to tell us they trapped and then “relocated” the bears but they’ve stopped fibbing about that and admit that if a bear winds up in their big barrel traps, that bear is a dead bear, they shoot it. I’m not about to be part of the reason a bear winds up dead for no good reason at all.

All he’d done was come up on the porch and sniff around the door. Hardly any reason to wind up dead and taken out to the dump.

*

Does anybody remember Robert Noyes? He was principal and football coach at a school in Gibsons, then he was transferred to a school in the Fraser Valley. Then he was arrested, charged, convicted of multiple sexual abuse crimes against children and sent off to jail. He served more than a dozen years, then was paroled. He applied for a change of name and got one.

Seems he felt he couldn’t establish a new life if he was still Robert Noyes. Maybe I’m a particularly vindictive bitch but what he did to some three dozen kids will haunt them all the days of their lives, so why should he get a “new life” when the innocent victims are stuck with those horrific memories? It’s not as if any of them can say, “Oh well, it’s been more than a dozen years, time to forget, wipe the slate clean, we’re good now.”

With a new name there is every chance this waste of skin and space could pass unremarked in any neighbourhood in the nation. He might be your neighbour. He might have his eye on your child, your grandchild. But Conservation will shoot and kill that bear who came onto my porch and sniffed around my door.

Anne Cameron grows pussywillows on the western edge of Vancouver Island. She received the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award for an outstanding literary career in British Columbia in 2010. Her 23 books include Daughters of Copper Woman, the bestselling work of fiction ever written about B.C. and published from within B.C. She has banished herself to Tahsis, a small town not far from Friendly Cove where the shenanigans called British Columbia all began.

2 Responses to “#56 Knock, knock, who’s there?”

  1. Jane says:

    As someone who lives with Bears, or lives in their territory and is allowed to coexist, I loved this essay.

    Also as someone who loves logic and clear writing I loved this essay.

    From they don’t get a dog eating off a fork, an attitude, to Min’s reaction to the Bear, an attitude, to not calling the Bear police, an action based on an attitude, to the really scary creature who is allowed a second chance [not like the Bears]
    maybe there is something wrong with this logic, but if there is, I don’t see it.

    Thanks

  2. Anne Miles says:

    Yes, I remember Robert Noyse all right. There were already complaints about him when our school district simply shipped him off to another school to do his thing! When parents sued, taxpayers got to pay because school authorities are exempt from any punishment for that kind of thing. I agree, the bear has a much better right to be running around loose.

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