Tales From the Keystone State: Blackberry Picking

One day when I was around three or four years old, I went blackberry picking with my mother in the forest surrounding my grandparents’ house in Punxsutawney.

In one part of the forest, there is a long path that leads to a clearing with tall grass and blackberry bushes on either side.

When we approached the clearing, we froze when we spotted a black bear and her two cubs about two hundred feet away eating some blackberries.

Not understanding what to do in the situation, I began to run away.

My mother shouted at me to walk slowly and to stay calm.

We slowly walked back to the house to safety, with a few containers full of delicious blackberries.

To this day, I’ve had a recurring nightmare that takes place in the backyard of my childhood home.

I’m walking innocently around the yard, when I spot a black bear in the distance looking for prey.

Terrified, I run back inside, lock the front door, and watch as a swarm of bears take over the grassy plain.

This is a daily occurrence in this dream’s universe, happening every evening at 6pm.

The sky in the dream is a bright, ghastly purple and full of constellations.

The air is thick with a deep feeling of dread.

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