© Yaroslaw Zalenchuk
My Grandpa Ivan Hutsyniuk by nickname Ivachuk lived little less than 100 years. He was blind in one eye. Grandpa used to transport wood in the mountains and lost his eye in an accident. Always had horses. Had a couple of horses and a carriage to transport goods from Kosiv to the shop in Zelene.
One day my Grandpa unexpectedly met a wounded bear on the mountain trail. It happened when he was walking uphill into the mountains with an axe in his hands together with some other men. The trail was lying between steep hills on both sides. As the trail was turning towards the entrance to polonyna (a meadow in the mountains used for pasture) they saw a big bear. The bear was standing on its hind legs, holding the front paws in the air. One of the bear’s paws was wounded: there was a huge splinter sticking out. The bear probably hurt itself when tearing a log into pieces in the den, and wasn’t able to get the splinter out.
The bear was roaring and started walking towards my Grandpa as if asking for help. Grandpa was frightened, but there was no way to escape from that trail. Holding the axe in one hand, he removed the splinter from the bear’s paw with his other hand. The bear shouted in pain and passing Grandpa ran down the trail. Grandpa together with the other men quickly headed up and to the village.
This is how Ivachuk helped the bear in trouble. My Grandpa used to say:
bears are our forest relatives. The bears have high intelligence, only little lower than the humans do.
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