"OH NO! The BEAR IS BACK!!!!" Jackie screamed. She wasn't certain if it was the same grizzly she faced before, but she didn't care. It was huge. All she could think of was what grizzlies could do when they are hungry or mad. Her most horrible fear was that the cabin would be his next stop. She said she tried to remember all the advice we gave her if another bear came around, but it was hard to think straight in sheer panic mode.
Tiffany, who had just turned seven, recalls responding very eloquently. "Oh, Shit!" She had heard the word many times from members of Del's crew when a big problem occurred and it seemed appropriate at the moment. After all, they were facing a BIG problem!
While the bear feasted on garbage in the pit, Tiffany and Jackie were experiencing full blown panic, feeling breathless, out of control, and hearts beating wildly. Jackie remembers prickly sweat running down her back. This was no imaginary fear, it was painfully real and both girls knew very well that if the bear wanted to he could simply tap the door with his massive paw and soon discover the fresh, tender flesh lurking in that one room cabin.
The grizzly was about 30 feet away at that time, but it apparently heard the noises, became curious, and began making its way towards the cabin. Tiffany's seven year old mind went wild, imagining blood and guts everywhere. Surely she and her sister would taste much better than kerosene soaked garbage he was sampling out there. If he found them, it would surely be the end of their short but adventurous lives.
Tiffany recalled that Jackie had a plan. Her first suggestion was that they could sneak out the front door, head over the porch and around the corner and escape in the old International truck parked out back.
With a muffled scream, Tiffany said, "What? Do you want us to be eaten alive?"
From the contorted expression on her face, Jackie detected right away that her brave young sister was not keen on that idea.
Meanwhile, Tiffany mind was turning as well, and risking sure death by strolling (sauntering, lollygagging) by him to reach the ole truck was not her idea of a good plan.
"Let's pause for a moment and really think about this," Tiffany whispered. Meanwhile, when they peeked out the window they could see the bear moving in closer by the minute. They estimated that he was about 15 feet away!
"We have to think of some other way to get out of here," Tiffany said, pacing. The idea of being ripped apart by teeth and claws was less appealing than death by any other means.
"I'd rather be shot than eaten alive," Tiffany said. That's when she thought about her Browning 22 rifle on the gun rack. She grabbed it, saying, "I'll shoot him if he comes in."
When they heard the bear grunting, having almost reached the door they suddenly felt it was hopeless. They began sobbing. Tiffany cried, "It's been nice knowing you, Jackie. I love you." Both truly believed at that moment they were about to die. Tears streamed down Jackie's face.
Tiffany had her little 22 aimed at the door with her finger on the trigger. Jackie was afraid if she shot at the bear and only wounded it, that it would only make matters worse.
"No, Tiff, we have to run for it!" Jackie exclaimed.
She told Jackie she would not go out that door. "I'll shoot you if you try to make me walk out there with that bear just inches way," Tiffany screamed.
"Dad and Mom said to bang some pots and pans together," Jackie cried. It was a trick that worked for other people. They tried it, but it worked for about 3 minutes and the grizzly started coming back again.
Time ran out for planning an escape. They had to act. The bear was at the door.