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Bear Claws. And Other Up-the-Wrong Tree Barkings.

Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution only to fulfill it on January 1 and have nothing left to worry about the rest of the year?

Yeah, me neither.

So anyway, I saw a sign the other day while traipsing through the wilderness.

Taylor Creek tree sign

In other words, it’s okay for the bears to vandalize the trees, like this:

bear claw, quaking aspen, tree

…because they don’t make handcuffs big enough for bears.

On the other hand (so to speak), if humans scratch up a tree with their professions of love for one another, it’s a federal crime.

tree vandals, taylor creek, quaking aspen

How is that fair? I mean, is it really just a matter of the lack of bear-sized handcuffs?

Taylor Creek trees 2

Loving one another should be encouraged, not punishable by law, I say.

As I continued to traipse, I came across this little gem:

bear sign, taylor creek

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. Don’t do this, don’t do that.

So now we have to keep our food to ourselves and avoid pelting bears with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at point blank range? When did they outlaw that?

And what if, as in my case, the BEARS are the ones not keeping their distance?

bear, taylor creek

Are they going to arrest them?

bear, taylor creek

No. No they are not. Because they don’t make handcuffs big enough for bears.

So instead of teaching the bears a lesson about following rules (for their OWN safety, I might add) the guvmint places all the responsibility on us. With this egregious policy-making, is it any wonder that humans decide the rules don’t apply to them either?

tree vandals, taylor creek

I’m telling you, humans aren’t the only evil wrong-doers here and it would do the Parks and Recreation Departments out there well to bark up another tree. But we all know, that’s not gonna happen.

Therefore, in light of this stalemate, I’ve decided to start a nonprofit called Handcuffs for Bears. Our vision is to partner with an international metal and bear claw conglomerate, such as the Global Steel & Doughnut Empire, so that we can manufacture and supply enough restraints for the entire bear population, and we won’t stop until every vandalizing Grizzly, Kodiak, Polar or Brown is behind bars. Serving time with the rest of us.

When we’re through, the aspens won’t be the only thing quaking in their roots.

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  1. Zubi Majeed says:

    Traipsing is good if you’re pretty sure that you can skip steps . Also, There is a need for beer – sized handcuffs in order to get tough on bears. As of me, I would stand and scream aloud to make beer run away from myself, rather than I running away from it . Hahaha 😉

  2. “Loving one another should be encouraged, not punishable by law, I say.” — For realz.

    Here’s to handcuffing those bears!

  3. Therese says:

    Disregard that first sign — the typo renders it lawfully invalid, says every editor everywhere.

    1. Margaret says:

      Well THAT’S good to know, Therese. I don’t feel so bad now about all the “human” marks on trees.

  4. Maybe if we handcuff the bears TO the trees- No, wait, that would tick a lot of people off. Never mind….

    I say enjoy the day from the comfort of the sofa and VERY far away from bears.

    And, you crack me up! As always.

    Happy New Year, Margaret. Have a great one. xo jj

    1. Margaret says:

      Yeah, I should keep my bear watching restricted to the NatGeo channel.

      Happy New Year to you, too, Joanna!

  5. Agent 54 says:

    You stole my million dollar idea!

    I’m already producing hand cuffs for Bears. I haven’t sold any because the Bears haven’t figured out PayPal yet, but I will.

    You’ll be hearing from my lawyers, Dewie Cheatham & Howe.

    1. Margaret says:

      “Paypal” – hahaha!!
      And I’m intimately familiar with Dewie Cheatham & Howe. (and why is the Looney Tunes theme song suddenly going through my head?)

  6. Ben Swilley says:

    Traipsing is fine if you just remember to skip between steps. Manufacturing cuffs for bears should be easy enough and it will create jobs and there will also be lots of job openings for cuffers of the bears. Those jobs will be #1 on the hazardous-duty- involved list.

    Keep in mind these wise words an old friend recently sent to me, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger except for bears. Bears will kill you.”

    1. Margaret says:

      Ha! And I still haven’t gotten the whole traipsing thing down yet. I twisted my ankle the last time and I thought there was a doe-see-doe somewhere in the middle, but I can’t seem to get the timing right.

  7. Cheryl P. says:

    First of all, I am very pro-traipsing and I agree with you that there is a need for bear sized handcuffs, if for no other reason, to make it clear that we are prepared to get “tough on bears.” I am totally on board cuffing any unruly grizzly bears but I am having a problem thinking that any polar bear would warrant being cuffed. Oh, and I am nearly in tears thinking about a koala bear being cuffed as it isn’t really a bear at all…people seemed to be confused by that so there might be some unjust marsupial cuffing involved.

    1. Margaret says:

      I’m sure some idiot will try to cuff a Koala Bear somewhere along the War on Bears. Luckily, I think the cuffs will be too big for them and they will live on relatively unscathed, albeit annoyed by their attempts.

  8. Cuff the bears! Leave the trees for squirrels. Traipsing? Really?

    1. Margaret says:

      Yes, traipsing. I can traipse. Can’t a person traipse anymore these days without being questioned?

  9. Jaffer says:

    And don’t forget beavers felling trees, turning pretty streams onto algae covered Bogs !

    I think they do more improvement to the ecosystems than the lonely ol’ bear

    1. Margaret says:

      Ah yes, the beavers. I forgot all about them. Perhaps my philanthropy has been misguided all this time. Perhaps I should reconsider my mission.

      Also? Hi Jaffer!

  10. Michelle J says:

    I think you should contact Stephen Colbert and ask him to donate to your new nonprofit. He is very anti-bear. 🙂

    1. Margaret says:

      Is he? Hmmmm…… 🙂

  11. You lost me at paragraph 3 Margaret. “So anyway, I saw a sign the other day while traipsing through the wilderness.” And then it got worse. Bears? Uh, no. No traipsing. No wilderness. No bears.

    1. Margaret says:

      Yeah. I don’t know how fast you could run in heels. Actually is it bears that you’re not supposed to run away from? You just stand there and hope he doesn’t eat you? I can’t remember. See how nature-smart I am?

      1. With bears, I pull myself up to my most tall, I wave my arms threateningly, and I growl and scream as loud as I can. The bear thinks you are going to attck it and leaves. Usually.

  12. Jack says:

    Bears be crazy!

    1. Margaret says:

      When my husband saw the picture, he freaked! Because I don’t have a telephoto lens or anything.

  13. First of all, for the life of my I cannot picture your perfectly-manicured self traipsing through the woods. As for “not feeding the bears,” if a bear wants my food, I’m damn well going to give it to him. Better claw marks on the trees than on my (size 4) ass.

    Happy New Year, my funny friend.

    1. Margaret says:

      Me? Perfectly manicured? Ha! That’s a good one, Jayne. And now I’m beginning to think I need to go re-look-up the definition of “traipsing”.

      Also? If you don’t have a shortcut key for “my (size 4) ass”, you should. 🙂

      1. I have proof of your lovely, elegant, perfectly polished hand, but since I can’t post it here, I will send it to you. 🙂

  14. Babs says:

    Guvmint – Ha ha ha ha! Nuff said!

  15. Thomas says:

    What ever happened to the good old days, when we used to make bears wear little hats and vests and ride unicycles while carrying parasols? Happy New Year, Margaret!

    1. Margaret says:

      I know! They don’t make bears like they used to. And Happy New Year to YOU!!!!

  16. I am not going to comment because I eat trees and then you will start a campaign for hoofcuffs for goats and then we won’t be able to be friends any longer….

    1. Margaret says:

      I would never! Goats are different. Everybody knows that. 🙂