Somebody Has Been Sleeping in My Bed
By Linda C Butler
Told by Charlie Vance
I trapped in Northern Manitoba in the 1930s/40s and in addition to my main trapping cabin, I built a couple small trapping cabins along the trail so that I would have a place to spend the night as I checked for furs with the dogteam. When I built these small log cabins I brought in supplies such as building paper and nails by dogteam or on my back. At the cabin on the Blackwater River I had carefully carried in a small window pane so I could have light.
I had a multi-purpose shelf under the window on hinges that I used as a cupboard-counter-table. I left a few dishes, coffee, tea, sugar, vinegar and a can of corn syrup on this shelf. I kept a bottle of black ink on the window ledge for writing if I had any correspondence to do in the evening.
On this occasion I returned to the cabin and found that a black bear had broken the window and entered. When the bear crawled through the window it knocked over the ink and the bottle broke when it hit the dirt floor. As the bear landed on the shelf, the hinges collapsed and the dishes and food items scattered. The corn syrup lid opened and the gooey syrup spread on the floor. The bear licked some of the syrup and stepped in the black ink as it moved around, then it crawled on top of the narrow bed, leaving sticky corn syrup and black ink on my bedroll.
The bear was gone and there was nothing I could do but light the kerosene lamp, light the fire in the stove to warm the cabin, feed the dogs, board up the window and heat my supper. I was glad of food and shelter, but annoyed at the destruction. I was reminded of the story of Goldilocks and was glad that the bear was not sleeping in my bed.
(c) Linda C Butler 2014