Nature teaches some important lessons and none better than one we can learn from the bear. I have great respect for bears. With their quick paws, they can snatch fish and seals from the water. Tropical bears climb trees to drag monkeys from their safe perch. Bears don’t even think twice about digging into an angry beehive. I guess you could say they have us humans beat in every physical respect. And, if you think that’s bad, it’s not even the worst; they have a temper that far exceeds their physical strength, which you will experience just trying to get close to one of their young. All predators instinctively know bear cubs are off limits.
This past winter I was sitting up in my tree stand, deer hunting. Suddenly, from around the edge of the hill a deer came running. In one smooth motion I brought my gun up and flipped the safety off. As the deer got close, I realized it was just a fawn. Some hunters would be bummed at this point, but I was stoked because there is only one reason a fawn runs—coyotes. I remained still. Sure enough, the predator came running, about a hundred yards back. Needless to say, it never knew what hit it. One second, it was trying to take down a little fawn that got separated from its mother; the next moment, it was as dead as a tanned hide hanging on the wall. Coyotes are cowards, picking on the small and weak.
When I was 11 years old, I went on a mule ride with my grandparents. It was a weekend of true hillbilly fun, riding mules in the summer heat all day long with a bunch of tobacco-chewing, overall-wearing, heehaw-looking good ole boys. It was a great time. On the second day, I met a gentleman about 55 years old. He spoke well, was clean-cut, and was better dressed than the rest of the bunch. He seemed to know my family and talked about my mom. He was definitely a good man. He said there was a nice trail around the lake that we could walk around first thing in the morning, and that we would see lots of snakes and turtles. That was all I needed to know. The next morning at daylight he tapped on my tent. I was up in a second and ready to go. It took about an hour and a half to walk around the lake. We had a great time, but I only saw one snake.
When I got home, I told my parents how much fun we’d had riding mules, catching perch, walking around the lake. “Walking around the lake?” they asked. “Yeah, I met this really nice old guy. We walked around the lake. It’s OK, he knows you. His name is so and so.” Their faces turned ash gray and I knew it was serious. They said he was a pedophile from way back. Other kids had charged him, but nothing had ever stuck, and they had not seen him in years.
It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I thought back on that time at the mule ride and considered the gravity of the situation. Was I not his type? I doubt it. I was just a “cub” and he was a seasoned coyote. So why did I go unscathed? It’s pretty clear to me now. It’s because I was a cub and not a fawn. Sure, the cub might have wandered away from the den for the weekend, but nature itself teaches the coyote that there is not a tree high enough, nor water deep enough, nor any other way to outrun the wrath of the bear—my parents. Their reputations were known abroad, and the coyote knew that to mess with this cub was a sure way to lose what he loved most—and I don’t mean his freedom.
Some of you have fawns for children, and some of you have cubs. There is a big difference between the two in the mind of a coyote. Fawns are easy prey, and there are no consequences to the coyote if he eats one. But a bear will have no mercy on the creature that tries to take down its cub.
Our job as parents is to raise our kids to have a joy-filled life, not a life of shame and guilt brought on by a moment of gratification for some lowlife you thought you could trust.
The coyote population multiplies in the years when there is a lot of food; that is what has happened in the current generation. Filth has permeated the whole world and there is much food for predators’ lust, thus they have multiplied. Coyotes are everywhere. They are stalking your children even as you read this warning.
As parents it is our responsibility to teach and warn our children, but we also need to be known as bears. People need to know, and coyotes need to know: If you mess with my cub, you get the full bear treatment.