“When Dad realized that he had caught himself he was sorry he had made such a solid door. He couldn’t think of any way of getting out, and there wasn’t nobody within five miles. Dad yelled for about an hour and then quit. After a while he heard something coming, and thinking it might be a neighbor riding along the trail, he shouted again. Peering out between’ the logs he saw two bears in the moonlight making straight for the trap, and he stopped his noise. The bears came up, sniffed all around, smelt Dad and the bait and began clawing at the logs to get inside. Then Dad was sorry he hadn’t built the trap stronger and used heavier logs. He tried to scare the bears by yelling, but the more he yelled, the harder they dug to get at him, and it wasn’t long before he heard a mountain lion answering his shout and coming nearer every minute. The lion came down off the mountain, jumped on top of the trap and began tearing at the log’s up there. He got his paw down through the trigger-hole, and Dad had to go to the other end of the trap to keep out of reach. Then the bears got the logs torn so that they could reach in between them in two or three places, and they kept Dad on the jump inside. Before morning there was another lion and three more bears at work on the Dad-trap, and they’d have got him by noon that next day if a party of hunters hadn’t come along and scared them away. These are the facts, but Dad used to tell it differently.
“Dad said he pulled up one of the floor logs and began to dig with his knife and hands. He sunk a hole two or three feet deep and then run a drift under the trap to a big hollow tree that stood just behind it. While the bears were digging in, Dad was digging out. He struck the root of the tree with his tunnel and made an upraise to the inside of the trunk. He climbed up about ten feet and struck into a mass of honey and comb, and crawled through that to a hole about fifty feet from the ground, where he could look out. Just about that time the bears and the lions broke into the trap and began to fight over the bait. The growling and yelling were fearful, and the air was full of flying fur, bark and chips. While Dad was watching the fight he heard a great scratching and scrambling in the tree beneath him, and he knew that one of the bears had caught the scent of the honey and was following it through his drift and upraise. Dad crawled out through the bee hole, slid down the tree and lit out for home. When he came back with his boys and neighbors he found the trap chock full of dead bears and lions. He cut down the bee tree, killed the bear that was inside and got half a ton of fine honey. That’s the way Dad tells it.”
“I never told no such dogdurned lie as that since I was born,” snorted Dad, “and my boys got me out with a crow-bar.”
Brainy bears of the Pecos.