When I was a child, my parents took my brother and I on a trip west. What I remember most about that trip (aside from my Father getting Lyme disease and being sick as a dog) is Yellow Stone park.
Yellow Stone is one of those famous parks that everyone has heard about and seems to be a major destination for all families. But it’s particularly famous for its wildlife. We were in an Inn one evening (again, supposed to be camping, but my Dad was sick) and my Mom allowed my brother and I (age 12 and 10 respectively) to go walking. We decided to go on a small nature hike. We stopped along the road to simply view the nature and take pictures. All of a sudden, a car pulled in behind us. My brother and I were a little frightened- we were young kids and suddenly strangers were approaching us.
“Where’s the animals!?,” the driver asked us. A bunch of people- mostly kids- piled out of his car.
“The animals?,” My brother repeated blankly.
“Yeah, where’s the animals?,” the man repeated, pointing to the mountain we’d just been viewing.
Then, all of a sudden, two more cars pull over behind him. My brother just finishes telling the first man that there are no animals when all the drivers from these cars leap out, saying things like, “Where’s the bear? Do you see a bear? Do you have your binoculars? Where are the animals?”
The man from the first car calls to the others in a dejected voice. “There’s no animals! False alarm!”
A woman from the same first car, presumably the man’s wife, walks up and starts to scold us- that’s right, perfect strangers, about how wrong it was to pull a ‘joke’ like that. (My brother and I are both thinking, “Joke? What?”) She tells us that “they paid good money to come here and show their kids the animals, and by jolly we’re going to see the animals in this park!” My brother and I stared at her, afraid of this weird stranger, as well as the now growing crowd of people, as well as the slowing traffic, now dozens of people hanging out their car windows, looking up at the mountains, trying to spot an eagle or a bear or a mountain lion. Who knows what might have happened? Thankfully, my Mom thought we’d been gone rather long and came to see what was happening.
My Mom asked my brother what was going on. The woman butted in and told her that we’d been pointing to the mountain in attempts to get people to pull over. My mother asked why people would pull over and the woman’s husband explained, “For the ANIMALS of course!” My mom turned and asked us what we’d been looking at. We told her we wanted to get pictures of the mountains for Dad (he didn’t get to see any of the park, and we wanted to surprise him).
My mom smiled and took us by the hands, saying we’d taken enough pictures today and we turned to leave. The woman yelled something after us, which I cannot remember exactly, except that it was rude- along the lines of “control your children”. Mom didn’t listen. She took us back to the Inn, gave us a brief lecture about walking along the road instead of taking the children’s trail-which is where she thought we were going. We weren’t allowed to go out by ourselves during our stay at Yellowstone anymore.
My favorite thing about this memory is my Mom’s behavior. She didn’t apologize to the lady, nor did she turn when the woman shouted that last statement. She kept her cool and had the grace to walk away. I guess it’s another one of those situations people thinking they are entitled to the best experience possible.
Before we left, we actually did see a bear- and a bunch of idiots who were walking up close to it with their cameras. We called the park ranger but didn’t stick around to see the gruesome result. 0202-11
Ehell Rule #4,356 – It is not rude for bears to eat rude park tourists. Nom, nom, nom.