Dead Things, Mikey

You know, I fully understand and appreciate how fortunate I am to live in an exceptionally beautiful place. I really, do. I love the fact that you can walk from our house into Glacier National Park, and into the remote high backcountry, and that we have deer and elk and bears and coyotes and wolves and cougars trotting through our neighborhood, flush with summer huckleberries.

But every living environment has its challenges, right? My friends in Chicago occasionally find syringes at the playground. My friends in Manhattan hear honking and car alarms as if they were the murmurations of steady bird migrations. Italians must dodge dog shit landmines down every cobbled street they strut. And us?

We get dead things.

Most recently, specifically, an elk calf carcass about 75 meters from the back door. A couple of days ago we were mentally preparing to remove said carrion while eating dinner on the back deck. (Having chosen to eat first, lest our appetites be spoiled by the impending funk.) But lo, before we could snap on the rubber gloves a robust black bear trundled in through the lodgepole, sniffing his way to dinner. Given there was plenty of elk left to eat, and knowing that bears sometimes like to physically sleep on top of their dinner to protect it, we knew there would be no relocating that night.

Unfortunately, while said bear managed to gobble up all the good bits, he left enough behind to ripen in yesterday’s hot sun, and with it an odious calling card to all neighborhood dogs. Including our five-month-old puppy. Who came running up to me covered in reeking, blackened flesh crumb goo, and who has subsequently been on post-bath lock-down. At least I don’t think she actually consumed much, unlike our neighbor’s dogs, who have been plagued by “uber disgusto carcass farts” the last few days…

Oi! Just as I was writing this a new bear shuffled in looking for leftovers. That makes three different bears in three days. Which, alright, yeah, is pretty cool, minus the puppy-putrefaction ┬ácombination… I guess it’s called “local color.”

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