As he promised, the man went foraging for herbs and berries, in hopes that they might be of assistance with the bugs that were impeding his enjoyment of the outdoors. He carefully harvested the berries he’d spotted near their campsite, and also took a sample of the plant for further study of its medicinal potential.
Meanwhile, his girlfriend was inspired to help out. She was able to put her moody morning behind her, now that her sweetheart was awake. “Our bond isn’t my wishful thinking,” she thought as she headed toward the river to look for interesting plants.
She passed by another random camper, who politely greeted her and asked, “Excuse me, are there any bathrooms around here?”
The woman smiled and pointed the way. She then added a neighborly warning, “but you have to be assertive with these nature townies, or they will just take your place in line. They have no civility at all.”
“I noticed that too… but thank you for the directions!”
Her boyfriend discovered some curious purple berries also, and harvested as many of them as he could. He told himself, “If nothing else, I can dry them for my baby to decorate her art studio with.” He could tell it was close to 1200 hours though, so he returned to the campsite.
Meanwhile, the woman discovered a really unusual flower and collected a few of them to bring back to camp.
“Where is she?” her boyfriend asked himself as he began grilling their lunch.
He started thinking of all the possibilities, while she chased a frog along the side of the river and bravely reached into a hollow log to take it out of its hiding spot. “Don’t worry, little guy,” she said as she gently scooped him up.
“I’ll take care of you,” she promised the frog. “If I hadn’t already found true love, I’d probably try to kiss you, but you don’t even need to worry about that!” She laughed and lightly tickled the frog’s back as she looked it in the eyes.
She knew she was already late, so she was running when she saw a bear.
Most people would naturally stop, or at least move slowly when they encounter a bear, but the woman just kept running until she was right up next to it. Then she stopped and waved, saying, “Hello Bear!”
The bear made a curious grunt. The woman began explaining things, and she told the bear all about her morning.
“I really shouldn’t have lashed out at that rude camper,” the woman confessed to the bear. “Sometimes I get all this pressure building up inside my head, and it takes hold of me, you know?”
The bear offered an understanding snort.
“Thank goodness I’m with the man who saved me,” she continued. “I mean that literally. He actually saved my life, and I love him more than anything! Without him, I would be in… like a zoo. You know about zoos, right?”
The bear gasped in obvious horror, and the lady continued talking. “I know… but I’m sorry if the thought frightened you. I just needed someone to talk to, because my hero’s heart is broken… I’m worried that he can never love me back, and I’m scared of my own feelings.”
Tears welled up in her eyes as she spoke those words, and she would’ve began crying in a moment if the park ranger hadn’t called out to her, “City girl with no tent, don’t feed the bears!”
“I wasn’t… we were just talking,” the woman explained. She nodded to the bear, then continued running back to the campsite.
Her beloved had already given up waiting for her, and felt rejected while he ate his meal alone. He grumbled to himself, “I shouldn’t still be eating alone so often.” Just then, the woman arrived at camp.
She was a little out of breath when she greeted him and sat down beside him. “I’m sorry I’m late,” she apologized as she took a serving of the fresh hotdogs he cooked for lunch.
“Where were you?” he questioned. “I was worried.”
“If you were worried, why didn’t you come looking for me?” she questioned him in return. “What if I’d been attacked by a bear?”
The bear casually arrived for lunch as well! It grabbed a plate and started eating a hotdog, rather politely.
The man said to her, “Obviously the bears prefer to eat people food rather than the people themselves.”
Then he got very serious and threatened the bear. “You get out of here! You have no idea who you’re messing with right now, Bear. I could literally kill you with a paper plate!”
The bear gave a few quick grunts like it was laughing. Then it finished off the stolen hotdog and grabbed another! The man spotted the bear’s weakness and tried a new method of bear diplomacy.
“Listen, Bear, if the ranger sees you, she’s going to shoot you. If this is your first offense, you’ll be lucky and get a dart that makes you sleepy, and you’ll wake up very far away from here,” the man said. “But by the way you’re behaving, I get the feeling you’re a repeat offender. I’m pretty sure there’s a bullet out there with your name on it.”
The bear gasped, but then continued to eat.
The woman finally spoke up, saying, “Babe, I don’t think it’s working.”
“Don’t worry, I’ve got a strategy,” he whispered to her. “Follow my lead, all right?” She winked to let him know she was with him all the way.
They slowly stood up and turned around. The woman whispered, “This is your plan? Turn our backs to a bear?”
“It’s the first part, yes…” he replied calmly. “Follow me.”