Two Big Eyes In The Window

by Sherry Riter in Family,Mom

My mother’s childhood was completely different than mine, so I wanted to share a story that I love hearing Mom tell over and over again…

Suddenly, I saw the two big eyes...

I could hear little green frogs, bull frogs, and crickets outside the bedroom window where I was laying on the bed with my new baby sister, Ann. The smell of corn growing in the fields next to the little farm house we lived came in the open window. It had a sweet smell mixed with the honeysuckle vines on the fence.

I held Ann’s bottle while she drank her milk like a hungry piglet. We lay on a mattress with no sheets because we were too poor for them. I can still see the black and white ticking that the mattress was covered in.

The sounds were peaceful until I heard what I thought was a pig that had gotten out of the pen. The groaning got closer and closer to the window along with some deep snorting. I was only three, so I was oblivious to all of the danger ahead.

The moon was brightly shining and helped the lit kerosene lamp make the room brighter. We did not have electric lights, running water or any of the conveniences that are normal today. We didn’t have a phone and I had never even seen one. We also did not have a television because it hadn’t been sold yet!

I looked out the window which wasn’t hard to do because our heads, baby Ann’s and mine, were right by the window sill. Suddenly, I saw the two big eyes of a bear! His head filled the opening of the window because he was so large.

The bear roared loudly.

I screamed!!!!

Mom said, “Shhhhhhhhhhh.”

She blew out the lamp, took the pillows off the bed, soaked them in kerosene and lit them on fire.

As she walked out of the the room, she reached up and took the only new dress I had ever had up to that point in my life. It was polka dotted with a red sash and black top. The sash had a little red velvet flower pinned to it. I loved the dress.

Mom went out the front door and threw the pillows and the dress at the end of the walkway where the big bear was standing on his hind feet!

When he saw the fire, the farmer across the field came with his sons to help. They tracked the bear with dogs and killed him because he had become a threat. He was getting too close to homes and was dangerous.

The ironic part of the whole night was that my dad and uncle had left to go hunting bear! If he had just stayed home and rested on his bed, he could have shot a big brown bear!

I am 67 years old and the memory of that night is as vivid in my mind as is my memory of breakfast this morning. The scene is still sharply etched in all my senses.

I have never forgotten my little dress. I think that is why polka dots always catch my attention. Sometimes I even feel the fear of the moment when I looked into the face of that bear who was only about twenty inches from tiny little form.

I can see the brass bed, barren mattress without sheets, no pillow cases, no curtains, no dressers and no closets. Instead there were just nails in the walls to hang clothes. I also can remember my pretty mom. She was beautiful with bright red hair, a smile that lit up a room, and skin as fair as a lily.

Wow, life is so funny. Thank goodness I know the purpose of it all.

Thank you Mom for sharing this spine tingling story with us and I look forward to many more.

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Richard March 23, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I totally loved this amazing story! I also am impressed with your fantastic blog!


2 Kathy March 23, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Wonderful story, thank you for sharing.


3 Lori March 24, 2011 at 1:56 am

Great story! I'm looking forward to reading more!


4 ruthhill74 March 24, 2011 at 4:43 am

Goodness! and here I thought that my story of being attacked by a dog in my home while working out with my Wii Fit Plus was a good story! Wow!! Thanks for sharing.


5 Bossy Betty March 24, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Loved that you passed this story on to us–and what a good one!


6 Vivobello March 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm

What did she do with the dress??


7 The Redhead Riter March 24, 2011 at 11:29 pm


The dress was burned with the pillows.



8 The Redhead Riter March 24, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Thank you all. Glad you enjoyed it. I was always amazed that my grandmother was so brave! I think those brave genes went to my Mom, sister and daughter. Me and my niece were left out LOL


9 Teresha@Marlie and Me March 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Thrilling! But what happened to the dress…did it get set on fire too?


10 March 27, 2011 at 2:31 am

Thanks for sharing that awesome story. And we think we have it tough at times. Imagine a real live bear looking through the window to eat you…makes my spine tingle!


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