Dear Readers ... Howdy, and welcome to this fine late fall day and the Bookend.

I was supposed to drive to Chattanooga today to see my darling, perfect daughter (I think the sun rises and shines on her little cute self), but I was too weak with my heart to make the drive.

So I decided I would do what one of my best friends -- Annie from Fall Branch -- recommended that I do: take a vacation day.

I love to drive through Tusculum and meander down to the Mennonite store, so that’s just exactly what I did. They had the donut truck outside, so I made a beeline for it.

As I was standing in the line patiently waiting to purchase my donut I listened to the conversation of the big, burly man in front of me as he talked to the donut man.

Seems he was getting ready to go hunting in Baileyton.

It was a big, tough manly conversation about wild country, big guns, and wild critters.

The donut man was enthralled.

Now I might be a little nanny/library girl, but I have my OWN hunting stories that I can regale the donut man with -- yeah buddy! -- and here’s what I told him.

Jumping right onto the end of the previous conversation, I said to the donut man, “Boy, Baileyton is wild country! Lots of big bears to hunt there! Big bears are everywhere over there!”

He looked at me skeptically, clearly thinking that I couldn’t possibly have any connection to wild critters in the back woods of Baileyton.

Not the least bit dissuaded, I chattered on.

“Yep, I used to be the caregiver to a little elderly woman in Baileyton who was from New York City and she had a huge bear head in her refrigerator freezer.”

I had his full attention now.

For reasons of confidentiality, I am going to call her Miss Lily. I continued my true to life story.

Miss Lily was in culture shock because she had lived a very sophisticated lifestyle in NYC. She had gotten older and was now living in a remote part of Baileyton with a dear relative who was looking after her.

The caregiving staff ran her kitchen and home for her, so Miss Lily had no idea what was in her kitchen.

My first stay at her home I went into the kitchen to prepare her dinner. I opened up the refrigerator freezer and taking up the entire freezer was an enormous bear head wrapped in clear plastic wrap.

Words escaped me (a rare occurrence I assure you, dear reader!)

I went back into the living room and said, “Miss Lily, please don’t be alarmed, but there is a bear head in your freezer.”

“Oh my heavens!” gasped Miss Lily, “you better call my family and ask where it is from!”

Seems a relative had recently killed the bear on the property. Miss Lily, still appalled, then said very politely, “tell them to please come and get it, and tell them we are very sorry, but we do not have any room in the freezer for any more bear heads.” Ha!

The family came and got the bear head.

Miss Lily, still being in culture shock anyway, was in a further state of shock from this incident, so I tried to cheer her up. I said, “Oh Miss Lily, next time you’re at the little store in Baileyton if you’ll tell the local little old men in the store that you had a bear head in your freezer you’ll be the biggest hit in town!”

She looked at me rather dubiously but agreed to try it next time she was down there.

All’s well that ends well.

I looked at the donut man with my eyes wide and with a look on my face as though to say, “See! I have my own exciting bear story!”

Humph!

I personally thought I was the winner in the macho critter story and should have gotten extra glaze on my donut.

Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

Until next week, have a good week, and have a literary week!