I grew up in a little town in rural Pennsylvania. We lived in a small house, deep in the woods, and from early age I was used to the surrounding wildlife. I enjoyed listening to the Turkey calling at dawn, and the wolves wailing at dusk but I was not prepared to the following encounter which happened several years ago.
I was barbecuing on our patio up front, sipping scotch on the rocks and enjoying my Gloria Cubana “Serie R” No. 6. The logs were crackling in the fire and the aroma of the searing steaks was delicious in the early evening breeze, and then, out of the woods, at a stone throw distance, I caught a brown bear from the corner of my eye. As it came out from behind the trees, it stood up on its hind legs and sniffed. It was a big boy, probably weighing 800 pounds, and seemed hungry. He looked me in the eye and I dropped my Whiskey and went straight into the house, locking the door behind me and leaving the steaks and the cigar to fend for themselves. The bear went straight for the food. I watched as our family dinner with 4 Prime rib steaks, corn-in-the-husk and everything was consumed in minutes. At last, the bear got off the table.
He was walking slowly down the wooden step when all of a sudden he stopped on his tracks and turned around, looking back at the table he just left. I checked the table quickly; there was nothing left, except for the still lit stogie. The bear made its way back and stood up by the table. He picked it up gently with its claw and brought it close to its sensitive nose, sniffing intently. The shaggy carnivore was clearly mesmerized by the deep aroma. “Welcome to the land of the smoking pleasure” I was thinking as the bear was departing sluggishly with my cigar.