Yathin (yathin) wrote,

The unpredictable brown bear

I've been reading a new book this week that has real life stories of peoples' encounters with bears.

One of the stories that really touched me is this one. I couldn't find a link to it anywhere on the web and I don't have the power to verify its authenticity, but since the author of the book claims these are real I have no reason to believe otherwise.

Here is this incredible story from Alaska:


When four-year-old little Ella May Lindberg left her Sitka house alone in July 1921, it was with one thought -- blueberry pie. She told her mother if she would bake a pie, Ella would get the berries. Ella wanted a surprise blueberry pie for her papa. She knew about a prize patch of berries where she could fill her pail. Ella had not given any thought to the large bears that roamed the woods near her Baranof Island home. She was really too young to understand anything about bears.

Almost two hours after Ella had left the house, her father Hans, superintendent of the U.S Horticultural station at Sitka arrived and queried about "Baby." He was shocked to learn that she had last been seen walking with pail in hand toward the woods. He immediately sprang into action meeting at the blacksmith shop with all available men, distributing his two 12-gauge shotguns and .22 rifle. He carried his .30-40 rifle himself. The men spread out in a half-circle and slowly began coming the woods. They were to fire three shots if anyone found Ella May.

A half-hour later Ella's father heard three shots and rushed toward the sound. One of his companions confessed that they hadn't found Ella, but they'd discovered some large, fresh bear tracks. In a frenzy Ella's father plunged ahead of the others ingot the dense brush, hoping against the inevitable. He tried to force all negative thoughts from his mind -- she could be mangled by a savage bear, she could be partially consumed, she may never be found. He was overcome by a father's grief for his little one.

He called frantically to Ella, reassuring her that he was near, coming to her aid. Shortly he stumbled from the brush tangle almost bypassing the still, small form lying on the ground.

It was Ella May. She lay in a patch of blueberries, chubby little body peacefully sleeping, with her empty berry pail nearby.

He fired three signal shots and turned to his daughter who was awakened by the commotion. Her first words were, "Where are my berries, Papa? I had a whole pail full of berries." Completely surrounding the berry patch were large bear tracks evidencing where Ella's berries had gone.

Tags: alaska, bear, ella, sitka
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