He stood looking at the two half fences that sat neatly over the opening of the lane. Nestled between his new house and his closest neighbour. This lane ran between the length of them. Ending at the rear of the properties and opening onto the fields beyond.

The gap between the fences was just wide enough to walk through, or drag a bin through or wheel a pedal bike between.

“what an idiot!” he thought to himself. A broad smile on his face as he stood, hands on hips, staring at theses fences.

The last time he had seen fences like that was twenty years ago now.

As a bright eyes and excited 13-year-old boy he had spent a month in Canada staying with family.

He had journeyed with his grandparents to stay with his aunt, uncle and two older cousins.

They lived in quite a compact mining town in the north-west of the country. Originally from Scotland they had emigrated ten years before, the uncle plying his trade as a butcher while the aunt worked as a nurse.

It had been something amazing for him, the culture, the accents, the food, the girls. It was all new and excitingly different.

He had tried a few new things and loved them all – from the particularly Canadian restaurants with their huge servings of food and drinks to the multitude of television channels, that, by the time you got back to the start of the list checking what was on, it was almost time for the next half hour slot to start.

Gut seeing this fence brought back a specific memory. Standing in a small down town parking lot he had seen 2 similar fences crossing a small lane that exited the back of the lot. The lane wound its way to the back of town and out into the forest.

“What’s the half fences for?” he had asked his cousin.

“Ahhm.” She had hesitated as if unsure herself, “Oh, they’re for bears.”

“What? What do you mean?” he asked, his eyes as wide as his mouth.

“Well, if you’re in the woods and getting chased by a bear you run through them and it confuses the bear so you can get away while it works them out.” She patted him on the head.

“Wow, I’ll keep that in mind.” He said, believing it to be their purpose until he saw the similar fence at his house in Glasgow.

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