Then the barking spread down the street toward my house. One after another, the dogs at each house started to bark at about the speed that you are reading this sentence.
What moves fast enough to cause dogs to bark along a street, in perfect order, as though this were the window shot for the live version of the call-for-help scene in 101 Dalmations?
I finally heard, underneath the barking, the sounds of crashing underbrush. The crashing was out of synch with the barking, and it was too concentrated a crunching sound, so it wasn't a pack of dogs making that noise. It was one animal, and it was heavy. And it was coming towards me.
The goats raced down from the top of the pasture about two seconds before the crashing came parallel to the fenceline, and a shadow rolled and tore through the bushes between the fence and the road. The bear broke cover only long enough to gallop across our driveway and crash back into the bushes on the other side. From the size of it, that was probably a yearling or maybe a two-year-old. It definitely wasn't this year's cub, and certainly wasn't mama or papa bear. Whatever its problem or destination, neither goat nor human was a part of the visiting schedule for that particular blow-by. I don't know if it even knew or cared that it had an audience.
Also, amusing enough, it went by too fast for Hercules to even sound an alarm. Herc was on alert, to be sure, but he never said anything. Or, I wonder if Herc decided discretion was the better part of valor, there, and that it was better to not call attention when the bear was obviously not on a collision course with his goats.