“Two houses, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona where we lay our scene.”

Clichéd, yes, but there never was a more fully crafted representation of two parties who did not agree than the Montagues and Capulets.

I bring up the bard’s prologue because I spent the day trying to reckon two accounts of a wild weekend in West Yellowstone.

Unfortunately, no star-crossed lovers will knit the troubles between the two sides in this dispute.

On one side, a pair of campers, one who says he was bitten by a bear in a campground while he slept and another who says the bear tried to get into his cabin. Both are angry that the campground didn’t warn them properly against bears (in their opinions).

On the other side, the owner of the place, who acknowledges the bit, doubts the cabin story, and says he and his staff warned campers about the bear danger adequately.

One side senses a cover-up; the other senses paranoia and overreaction. Who’s right?

No one, of course, and no one is happy at the outcome of the weekend. All that remains are (at minimum) three different bears who have been left to roam around the campground at will (for now) because, as Fish, Wildlife and Parks told me, it would be more dangerous to set a trap and just see what wanders in.

Back to Shakespeare: the entire incident gives “exit, chased by bear” a whole new context. (And yes, this is a line from Shakespeare. I’ll let you look it up if you’d doubt it).


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