I woke up around 1:30am last night to the sounds of someone rummaging through the dumpster. It sounded like he was removing glass bottles and tossing them into a pickup truck. The dumpster’s only 20 feet or so from our apartment, and the noise was loud through our open window. The dumpster is situated in such a way that you can’t actually see it from our window. At first I thought I would get dressed and go tell whoever it was to go away, but figured I’d see if I could get a look at him from the kitchen window. The kitchen window only provides a view about half the dumpster, and only if I stand on my toes and lean over the sink, which I did. And only then, through several tree branches. There appeared to be several dogs lying around the dumpster, eating trash. At first I went back to the bedroom to tell Jonah that it was coyotes. She said, “Really?” “Well, actually, they look too big for Coyotes. And they’re kind of fluffy. Like Huskies.”

At this point, I realized that dogs in the dumpster seemed really unlikely, given it’s size, and their dubious ability to open it. Also, something didn’t seem right about those dogs. It took me a couple minutes to find my glasses, and then I went back out to the kitchen. With corrected vision, the Coyote/Huskies immediately morphed into black bear cubs.

The cubs were awfully cute, snacking on items that Mom leaned into the dumpster and tossed out. She was one of the largest black bears I’ve ever seen. She had no trouble leaning into the dumpster while standing on her hind legs, and pulling out trash, something that I have difficulty doing. I went back and told Jonah that it was, indeed, a black bear and two cubs. This got her out of bed to go watch. They carefully examined, then crushed a pizza box, tossed bottles, and rummaged eating whatever they could find. One of the cubs climbed the tree outside our kitchen window. Amusingly, Jonah went and locked the patio door, which amused me.

After they finished with our dumpster, they moved on to the dumpster at the children’s center next door. How nice of us people to leave food in convenient metal boxes all over the neighborhood.

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