Saturday, June 30, 2012


In light of the recent rash of bear sightings in unexpected places here in
Massachusetts (such as on Cape Cod), I thought I'd share this story cousin
Florence O'Connor included in her book The Ancestors and Descendants
of Asa Freeman Ellingwood and Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood. It's told
by my 2x great granduncle Isaac Harris Ellingwood, the brother of my
2x great grandfather Asa Freeman Ellingwood:

"                              FOUR LARGE BEARS
I can remember a bear experience that I had. Bears had been troubling our
sheep so we were on the lookout for them.We were on a hunt one day in
the pasture. I sent the hired man and boy into the back field to see if they
had bothered the sheep during the night. When Willie and I came into the
field we crept along and there not 20 feet from us were four large bears.
There was no time to do anything but to face them. I sent Willie back for
the other men while I stood there and watched to see what they would do,
so I loaded the gun with buckshot and fired. The bears disappeared, one
went up a tree and the others I could not see I suppose they were all up
the tree and rushed up. But they were not. I looked off a litte way and
there were two eating the carcass of a sheep that they had killed. I
decided it was time to fire again, and cocking my gun, I fired. One of the
bears jumped about ten feet. I expected her to come for me then, and I
had the other barrel of my gun in readiness. all would have gone well had
it not accidentally gone off. The bear came within ten feet of me and
stood there glaring. I dared not run and there was no time to reload. I was
certainly in somewhat of a serious predicament. The two bears in the tree
wanted to come down again and I had more than my hands full.

I had no desire to have four bear safter me at once. The two in the tree would
drop down a little and then go back up. It was a funny experience, but there was
no laugh in it for me.I hardly know what would have happened if help had not
come just then" (pp47-48).

And.....that's where it ends. But since I do know great great granduncle Isaac
wasn't eaten by bears, I'm pretty sure the encounter turned out alright for him.

But I can say with some forebearance, probably not for the bears.

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