Out for a ride with my parents. Dad was driving, I sat behind Mom looking out the side window at houses, trees, and yards as we passed by. The trees were all still bare from winter, but surprisingly for this time of year, the snow was all gone. The grass was still short and pale, not ready yet to green up.
We passed a white clapboard house with a small pond beside it. Lounging on the bank beside the water was a large white polar bear.
He must be hot so far away from the arctic circle, I thought to myself.
In the next yard over, I saw a mama polar bear and two little cubs sauntering along.
And then a polar bear sitting amidst a cluster of trees, camouflaged like part of a puzzle. I started counting the bears. 6, 7, 8, 9, ...
Dad was driving fairly fast, 40 miles per hour on a rural road, so I only got to see each bear for a couple seconds before we were out of view. I kept thinking of reaching for my camera but I didn't want to look away for fear of missing any bears.
On an odd large wood structure next to someone's house, I saw two polar bears (18, 19) stretched out. One was lying on a low platform and the other was on a higher platform a few feet away. It made me think of bunk beds if the top and bottom were askew.
Dad kept zipping along. Mom handed back her pocket camera. It's newer than the one I use and I thought it might have more reach with its zoom. I asked Dad to turn around assuming he would once there was someplace to pull in.
When I looked at Mom's camera, it wasn't the one I'd remembered. It had a sort of articulated screen on arms that hinged up. That could be useful.
We were a few miles past the bears and Dad still hadn't even slowed down. I figured he hadn't heard me.
I said, "Would you turn around and drive back, please?"
"No," he answered.
That's when I knew I was dreaming, but it was a dream within a dream, a step or two away from lucid dreaming. He kept driving onward, but I wasn't angry with him because it was only a dream.
Dream bears are fleeting after all, you have to soak in their presence when they choose to appear.
BearWatch 2016 totals to date:
Real bears: 0
Dream bears: 3 black bears, 19 polar bears
10 years ago on TTaT: Little creatures (part 1)