Upon settling into our temporary home, in a fairly secluded cottage outside Victoria, one of the first things we did was have friends over for dinner. I’m big on all the gathering round the table and breaking bread business, and my girl friend is hilarious, and quite frankly, after an 11 day drive across the country with two dogs I needed a good laugh.
There are limitations to cabin cooking, and to our energy levels at the end of the drive and so hotdogs and hamburgers it was. Now, in this part of Vancouver Island, there are bears (not grizzlies, but black bears), lots of bears, and I was doing research to ensure we didn’t do anything to inadvertently invite our new ursine neighbours for dinner too. This safety guide provides great advice and one thing jumped out at me: “Be watchful at barbecues. The smell from cooking meat attracts bears.” So…should I set another place at the table, I wondered?


The great black shadow moves easily
through old growth forested landscape
catching a scent in the breeze
he turns and moves in close
hears laughter sees smoke
mouth watering
hunger peaks
no one
as he
unaware of
what circles, watching
then melting back in trees
having recognized grill smells
beast grumbles and slowly moves off
them no wiser for close proximity
what’s wrong with these creatures-hot dogs, again?


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