Monday, December 05, 2005

Not Understanding About Bears

During my senior year at the College I roomed with two juniors who were both Exeter graduates, one from Connecticut and one from California. I, on the other hand, was a graduate of Natrona Count High School in Casper, Wyoming, the school from which Vice President Cheney was later to graduate.

The roommate from Connecticut had spent the previous summer working in some national park in Wyoming---or, perhaps, Montana---and had grown, in the opinion of us two Westerners, inordinately fond of bears. Bears were for several weeks his primary subject of conversation. He had one story about a bear having been fed lye, a story that apparently haunted him, as tears would come to his eyes as he related it, which he did over and over again.

Now neither member of his audience approved of the feeding of lye to bears, but that was a time---like every other time that I remember---when there were many sad stories to be told about random acts of cruelty, and we had grown rather tired of that particular story, a tiredness that led, I fear, to our making certain---but long forgotten---sarcastic remarks.

Those remarks were not well received by our roommate from Connecticut, who yelled at us: ``YOU DAMNED EASTERNERS JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND ABOUT BEARS.''

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