Uncle Carl used to tell us there were black bear in the woods around Brookwood. As kids we all thought that was a silly scare tactic- after we got over being scared that is! Today, it is my understanding that it is true, there ARE bear in the Irons area.

As kids one of our least favorite things to do was to use the smelly old wooden outhouse. We had been spoiled with indoor plumbing! For me it wasn’t as much the smell as it was the critters you might find inside. There had been racoons, skunk and other small woodland creatures seen leaving the fenced area surrounding the outhouse. I was afraid I would surprise one of these animals, or worse that one might get trapped inside the outhouse and I would walk in on it. (The outhouse door was a push door with a spring similar to a screen door.) Worse, I feared that I would find wasps, spiders or other bugs inside. My biggest fear was a typical girl thing……I was afraid while sitting on the wooden seat a spider would crawl up from underneath and crawl onto me…….eeeew!

Then Uncle Carl added to our trepidations. He claimed that one weekend while at the cabin by himself he wandered to the outhouse with a newspaper…..and pushing open the door surprised a rather good sized black bear sitting on the seat! He said his trip away from the outhouse was much quicker than his trip to it…..and that he had to waitand watch for the bear to leave before going back.

We all have real or fictional tales of the bear in the woods, but for me this one takes the cake!