Things change and things don't change much. That's the nature of things.
I did some growing down along the ridgetops years ago. While I was learning peak names and creek names I was learning other things almost by osmosis. That's a big fancy word for sucking things through the pores of my skin.
I met some interesting people- men and women- boys and girls depending on your perspective. I was growing my hair longer and trimming my predjudices. It seems like everytime I stuck my thumb out in the breeze there was the chance of sticking my finger in somebody's eye. I leaned to be careful.
I think it was along about this time that I learned to laugh at other folks. I'm still learning how to laugh at the things I do and think. That is a harder lesson.
Up around Pinnacle they used to do sdomething I found a little bit strange even for these parts. Hunters would go down to Asheville and offer a small sum of money for a steer skull. I guess they offered more than it was worth for hotdog filling. THey then went out on the fire trails and wire those skulls up on trees.
Now if I was a black bear, I'm not sure the whiffle of a steer skull going rank on an oak tree would get my taste buds excited but apparently that's the case. So picture this in your mind. A redneck hunter or two with a big ass gun hiding down wind of a rotting steer head, a steer head dripping crud on the leaves and a bear trying to figure out what was the cause of the stink.
Hunters whoop. Bear croaks. Steer skull rots a bit more. Bear parts are shipped to China so that folks can feel better and Honorable Mai Prikee Hot gets an erection that pleases his wife thanks to rednck boys cutting bear parts for erectile dysfunction remedy.
And I'm left here wondering who learned what and when.
Those are the bear facts.