Two weeks ago, while driving in West Eugene, I saw a sign. Bear, it said, and it pointed to the left. I laughed and passed it by, but later, coming back the same way, I saw the sign again. So I took a picture and thought, who wouldn’t follow that sign?
Sixteen miles and about 6 signs later, I had a choice to make: I could turn left, as the last sign was asking, and go down a country road clearly posted as a Dead End. Or I could let my imagination fill in the blanks.
It was a circus bear. The father won it at a church raffle, but instead of simply naming it — as he was supposed to do before donating it to the humane society — he decided to take it home to his kids. They’d been lonely since his wife died. The bear was talented. It could draw on paper and it liked to grill morningstar farms hot dogs on the Weber. It could ride a bicycle, but only a women’s style bike with the bar missing from the middle. The man and his two children learned from school encyclopedias that bears are social creatures. They couldn’t let the bear socialize with the cattle, so the kids made the signs and then went out with their dad on a Saturday afternoon and posted them up. They wanted the bear to have friends around. And they wanted the world to see their bear.
That’s what I think.
Second photo here.