Library Happenings

Henning School

Each day I try to call my mom at  8 p.m. My mom turned 80 on July 13 this year and for the first time in many years, her three living children were able to be there and celebrate with her. My mom (and dad) have four children, 11 grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.  

As a grandmother now myself, I think I know a lot yet my mom continues to amaze me with her offering of sage advice that proves correct for the conversations we have. I have an alarm set in my phone to ring each night at 8 p.m., not to remind myself to call my mom, but to remind myself that time is precious. 

While reading the featured book for the week, I thought of my mom many times and how my whole life she has been a Grizzly Bear mama to her children, teaching us the skills we need to survive in this wild world. My parents live in the heart of Grizzly Bear country, right smack in the middle of the Mission Mountains between Glacier Park and Yellowstone Park. 

There are many Grizzly bears in the Mission Mountains and a family friend of ours has eight that frequent around his ranch up on the mountain side.  He has named them all and can easily tell them apart, giving them much respect and distance!

I hope you can find yourself coming to our library to check out our featured book of the week and learn a bit for yourself about this outstanding creature.  We are open on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:30-5:30 p.m. following the school calendar.

“The Grizzly Bear” written by Thomas McNamee with drawings by Gordon Allen is our featured book this week at the Henning Public Library.  The jacket covers reads “Much of our considerable fascination with the grizzly bear is perhaps due to our unsettling kinship with it. We are both omnivorous, predatory, intelligent animals at the top of our food chains, each with little fear from any creature-except ourselves and the other.  And, like ourselves, the bear is highly individualistic, unpredictable, and greatly dependent for its success in life on what it has learned from its mother.

“Appropriately, the heroine of this remarkable, authoritative narrative is a female grizzly who, as the book opens, has just emerged from her five-month hibernation with two blinking, wobbly-legged cubs in tow. Through the next seven months, from April until they hibernate again in October, we follow the daily life of these three bars on their home range in and near Yellowstone Park.  We see how the cubs, under their mother’s ever-watchful tutelage, learn strict obedience to the critical tenets of ursine survival.  They nurse and nap, and take cover-instantly-at the approach of another bear or of man. 

“They dig for biscuitroot, gorge on ripe huckleberries, and mow down whole meadows of spring beauties; they chase ground squirrels and tear up hillsides in pursuit of pocket gophers; they stalk each other in obstreperous play that prefigures the remarkable dexterity and brute power they will have as adults.  Lesson by lesson, they grow toward the unique intelligence that makes the grizzly bear both a marvel of adaptive flexibility and a singularly wild wild animal.”