By Robin Wright ’22
Tragedy struck a couple of weeks back, when one of our own, Michael Burns was eaten by a bear on the school walk. Reports have suggested that the bear achieved perfect symmetry and swiftness in its movements, effectively charging towards the student and quickly devouring him. These are very hard times for The Frederick Gunn School community as we are both ardent supporters of bears and the late Michael Burns.
Mr. Theobald has begun a campaign in the woods to ascertain whether any body parts can be discerned in the presumptive fecal matter of the bear. To avoid a similarly disagreeable fate, Mr. Theobald has packed bear mace and a host of particularly pungent chemicals in the hopes that they will deter the bear before he reaches proximity to Mr. Theobald.
The bear himself has yet to issue a statement on this recent debacle, but some have jumped to his defense claiming that the entire situation was likely taken out of context and that we should reserve judgment until further time. Others profess that this is an outrageous example of continued bear violence-citing the precedent of most North American wilderness deaths being related to bears.
On campus, we have continued to mourn Michael as a brother who lost his life in the great outdoors he loved so much. The even greater ramifications of this incident stemmed from the fact that local citizens passing by the conflict spotted that Michael had in fact not been wearing a mask. This has sparked panic among the faculty that students aren’t being diligent enough with wearing their masks.
Our community will heal from this tragedy in its own time. Until then, it’s important to remember what a small fraction of nature we take up. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of life and forget that there is an entirely natural world around us that we don’t own. This natural world is full of wonders and occasionally displays itself in times such as this.