Picking the Bear’s Leftovers

bluesAki is soaking wet from rainwater that has collected on blue berry bushes. She pounds down a bear trail in the forest moss, leaps over bear scat (berry blue with red high bush cranberry highlights), and scoots under thickets of berry plants. She is chasing her orange Frisbee. Her other human and I hunt and peck for the remainder of the blue berry crop. The blues hang, plump and sweet, from inconveniently placed plants. We have to lean over wet, bare plants to pluck the fruit. I imagine a bear ambling through the berry patch, stomach already full of sockeye salmon, grazing on the easiest-to- reach berries but not bothering to reach inside the patch for the fruit we drop into our buckets.


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