13

The Biennial Bears` Bonfire – Part 3

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Background: Every two years Zeke, Anthony, Joe, and Benjamin got together for a week-long camping trip at the lake. One of the highlights of the trip was story-time around the bonfire. This year’s topic is “Chance Encounter With Another Species”. It is Anthony’s turn to speak. You can read Zeke’s story here. Anthony’s story is here.

Now it was Joe’s turn to tell his story.

My story is a little different because it’s about a human.

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As you know, they have what they call “hunting season.” They think that as long as it’s the season, they can do whatever they want in our woods. Mainly they seem to tromp around and make a lot of noise. So I hear a couple of them walking around, trying to find whatever it was they were looking for.

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They ended up separating to see if they had better luck. I heard a shot, so I assumed they had been successful.

Then I heard one of the humans start yelling. I don’t really understand human very well, so I went closer to see what had happened. One of the humans was bleeding and the other one was leaning over him. My best guess is that the first human got shot somehow.

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I thought I should help, so I went closer to offer. I guess it wasn’t a very good idea. The uninjured human tried to shoot me. Luckily, he was a terrible shot. So he started to run.

I couldn’t believe it. He left his friend behind so he could get away. I  guess he doesn’t know black bears are friendly around here.

I looked down at his buddy. He didn’t look so good. I mean humans are kinda funny looking without any fur, but this one looked particularly bad.

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I didn’t know what to do. On the one paw, he had been out in my woods trying to kill someone. On the other paw, it seemed cruel to leave him there bleeding.

I  decided to drag him over to Dr. Fox. It wasn’t very far, but when the human saw me coming toward him, he fainted. It was a little insulting. After all, he was the one with the gun.

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Dr. Fox looked at the human and asked where I found him. I told him the whole story and asked whether he could help the human.

The doctor said that he would clean up the human and pack some herbs into the wound. It had worked on some others patients, but he hadn’t tried it on something so big. It was going to take a lot of herbs. I  said that I would go out and find them while he cleaned up the patient.

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When I got back, it looked like the human was dead. Dr. Fox said not to worry; he had given his patient something to make him sleepy. I had to admit that he did look a lot better cleaned up and sleeping.

I gave Dr. Fox the herbs. He packed the wound with most of them, then made a paste to hold the herbs in place. The doctor asked how I was going to get him home.

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I hadn’t thought about that. I thought he’d be able to go home after Dr. Fox had fixed him. I certainly didn’t want him in my den; he would scare the children. And I had no idea where he lived. Besides, someone would probably try to shoot me again.

I told Dr. Fox that I needed to go home and talk to Ginny (my wife). She said that he could stay overnight, but that was it. We carried him home and made him a nice bed.The kids looked in on him, but weren’t impressed, so they went back to playing.

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We found a phone in his pocket and found a number for “Home.” I couldn’t call them. Most humans don’t understand bear talk. Ginny said we should text them. She sent, “Git me.”

We waited for a response. “Where are you?” Hmm. That was a good question. How would the humans find him? “Lake Vista beach”

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“I’ll pick you up in the morning.”

We took him over to the lake in the morning and waited with him. A car finally got there, so we waited in the woods. A woman got out of the car and looked at our human. She started crying and called someone. An ambulance arrived a little later. They said they had no idea who would have packed the wound with herbs, but it saved the man’s life.

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Nexr week: Benjamin’s story

All pictures courtesy of Google Images

11

Mama Cat and the Badger

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It was Christmas Eve, and Mama Cat was totally exhausted. Her reputation as an herbalist and healer was spreading and she building a good practice. But all that work had put her behind in her Christmas preparations. She had just finished the baking and wrapping. But the house was a total mess.

She was startled by a loud knocking at the door. She hoped it wasn’t that lousy Tom. She should have known he had two other kitten mamas. Mama Cat opened the door.

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It was a very large badger. Mama Cat almost fainted with fear. He asked if he could come in. She nodded and pointed to a seat.

“Are you here to eat me?” She was terrified.

The badger looked hurt. “Of course not. I am asking for your help.”

Mama Cat looked confused. “What could I possibly do for you?”

The badger looked at her hopefully. “My name is Reginald Badger, and I live in the forest. My son was playing with some friends and it got a little rough. He was clawed rather badly. My wife says that you can heal animals and was hoping that you would help our son.”

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Mama Cat looked around the house. “But it’s Christmas Eve, and I have five kittens in the other room who are waiting for Santa Claws.” Reginald looked crestfallen and nodded. “I told Margery that you probably couldn’t make it. I apologize for intruding.” He got up to leave.

Mama Cat looked at his sad face and then around the room. How long could it possibly take? And how could she let that little badger die? “I think there is time to help your son before the kittens wake up. Let me get my things.”

As she gathered her things, she hoped that she wasn’t volunteering to be Christmas dinner for a family of badgers. Reginald took her bag and offered a ride on his back. Mama Cat was feeling worse and worse about her decision.

As Reginald ran through the trees for what felt like an extremely long time, Mama Cat began to worry about getting home in time to finish getting things ready for the kittens. “I wonder if Santa Claws will leave presents at a house that doesn’t offer him a bowl of cream?”

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Finally Reginald stopped. Mama Cat climbed down as he opened the door. She swallowed nervously and followed him in.

Suddenly Mama Cat was being hugged. “Oh thank you Ms. Cat for coming all the way out here on Christmas Eve! I’m Margery Badger, and we are so grateful that you are here. I know that you can help Eugene. Let me show you the way.” Mama Cat was a little overwhelmed. “Please call me Belle. I hope I can help.” She followed Margery into another room.

There was a much smaller badger laying on the bed. He was asleep but was moaning in pain. Belle looked at the wound. “It is rather nasty isn’t it? Let me see what I can do. Would you please bring some warm water so I can clean it out?”

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Margery quickly returned with the water. “Now would you please boil some water and let these herbs soak in the water for 10 minutes?” Belle carefully cleaned the wound and got a better look at it. It was deep, but didn’t seem to have caused much damage.

She took some spider webbing and put it in the wound to stop the bleeding. When Margery returned, Belle poured the hot liquid into a cloth and applied it to the wound. “You will need to re-apply the poultice every six hours for two days. Belle handed Margery a second herb. “Make a spoonful of this into tea several times a day. It smells and tastes horrible, but it will help with the healing.”

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Both of the badgers hugged Belle and asked how they could repay her. Overcome with fatigue again, she said that a ride home would be nice.

When she opened the door to her house, Belle was amazed. It was spotless. There were gifts from Santa Claws for the kittens and a note on the table.

“Dear Belle – Since you were away helping the badgers, I decided that the best gift for you would be to have an elf clean your house. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! All the best – Santa Claws.”

Belle thought she must be dreaming and curled up with the kittens.

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6

Inside Mega Medical Insurance

If Congress ever stops obsessing about whether Vladimir Putin’s attire (or lack of) is an indicator of Russian foreign policy, maybe they can actually look into the running of the medical insurance companies. In the meantime, maybe this is what’s happening inside the boardroom:

Chairman: Gentlemen, we have invited you here for an explanation of why profit margins have plunged so dramatically.

Board Member A: The investors are very unhappy. Our largest shareholder had to use existing funds to make the payment on his ski lodge. Another had to postpone his trip to Fiji and Micronesia.

Chairman: Let’s start on the pharmaceutical side. What is going on, Mr. Hogg?

Lester Hogg (Pharm Guy): Well, you know that it’s hard to get companies to create new drugs because it’s so hard to get the government to approve anything. It’s all going generic.

Chairman: We’ve heard all that. Are there any new trends?

Hogg: A lot of people seems to be trying herbs and other supplements. We’ve even heard of psychiatrists prescribing them. That pulls people completely out of the pharm system.

Chairman: That makes no sense. Insurance doesn’t cover herbs. It has to be more expensive.

Hogg: Talk to the twits over there (points to the medical insurers). Copays for drugs keep going higher.

Julius Bones (Med Guy): You people can’t keep your costs down. We had to start charging them a percentage of the price instead of a flat fee. You said it was the only way to make a profit. The customers said the premiums were too high.

Hogg: And whose fault is that? You guys are letting patients get CT scans for a sprained ankle.

Chairman: We thought that forcing people into HMOs and such was supposed to keep costs down and profits up.

Bones: Well, it didn’t work out quite the way we expected. We thought that by forcing everyone to go through a primary doctor, a lot of the specialist fees would be eliminated.

Chairman: What happened?

Bones: Them. (Points to a team of attorneys)

Phineas Shark (Legal Guy): We have to make sure the doctors don’t get sued for malpractice.

Chairman: So you decide which tests are needed to protect the doctors?

Shark: In a manner of speaking. We make sure the doctors don’t make promises they can’t keep.

Hogg: So they try herbs instead of drugs.

Shark: There are fewer proven side effects. People don’t want to die from their treatment.

Bones (aside): That completely dries up the flow of money.

Shark: And we make sure enough tests are done to avoid missing a problem.

Chairman: So why aren’t we making money off all these extra tests?

Bones: Well, we made some reforms in the past that are cutting into those profits. We forced the providers to form groups for internal referrals and improved communication. And we made them switch to electronic communication.

Chairman: So??

Bones: So instead of taking the x-ray and sending the patient somewhere else for further diagnosis, the patient is referred internally and the x-ray is available for anyone in the system to see.

Chairman: What idiot thought that would be good for the insurance industry?

Shark: We never thought the medical world was organized enough to actually follow through. Our bad.

Chairman: This is totally unacceptable. It seems that every time we come up with something to protect our interests while still looking like the good guys, they figure out how to actually use it.

(He looks around the table.)

Chairman: I’m giving you insurance executives 90 days to come up with a way to exploit the holistic medicine industry or you’re gone.