Saturday morning, I was startled as I turned onto the gravel road to the Mansion and saw a bear.
That's what it looked like. A black bear cub. I stopped. Looked at it in my side mirror. Backed up. Turned to look out the driver's window of T-Hoe. There it was. Showing no fear, pawing at a spot in the dead leaves right beside the gravel. He lowered his left shoulder and rubbed along that spot on the ground. Stood up. Nosed at it. Lowered his shoulder again and pushed his body along.
I guess it was a little dog, a quarter-grown pup. He sure looked like a bear. The snout. The ears. The round body. The tail. Yeah. I'm sure it was a little dog. But there was no collar. And the tail had been docked to just the length of a little bear's tail. I saw it, because he was clenching it against his rumpus. I guess there was a draft.
Seriously. What kind of little dog looks just like a bear cub? When our black shepherd Ann and her deceased brother, Cubby, found our house as pups, they looked like tiny bear cubs. But they were itty bitty. As they grew, the bearishness faded. This little guy was about as tall as two cats stacked on top of each other, and roly-poly.
I'm sure he belonged to somebody nearby. There are a couple of german shepherds that make the rounds of our yard, but they're regular brown and black. No collar, but he was not thin. I haven't seen him since. I wish I had fumbled with my phone to get a fuzzy picture, but I was afraid a car was going to come along from either direction, and I was right in the middle of the road.
You never know what you're going to find in Hillmomba.