I was a tyke making his first solo excursion to the cottage outhouse many summers ago. Two thirds of the way there, I saw two cubs rooting around in the woods on the right side of the road. Sure enough, a grunt from the left side of the road indicated the presence of mama bear. I was almost, but not quite, between mom and her cubs.
I grew roots, frightened almost but not quite sh*tless, and shouted "Dad", only it came out "ack", quiet and raspy, like I'd had a tracheotomy. I stood there for what seemed a very long time. Mama bear just looked at me, but she was talking to her cubs, and they ambled out of the bush and joined her.
Then "BOOM", a rifle shot, which I think may have scared the sh*t out of me. Dad had been watching from the back of the house and grabbed his rifle when he saw the bears. He fired the shot over their heads, and they took off. I don't think I've had a decent poop since then.
My buddy and I are going hiking in bear country. He says "Bear country. I better get some new sneakers."
"You can't outrun a bear," says I.
"I don't have to. I just need to outrun you."