Darwin Cary certainly got the attention of an auditorium full of Julius E. Sprauve School students Friday when he told them how he survived a grizzly bear attack in the Canadian wilds. They were even more enthralled when he lifted his pants leg and took off his shoe to show them the quite impressive scars.
Cary said he headed up a tree to escape the bear but the bear followed him. Cary tried to fight back by punching the 500-pound bear but it continued biting him in the leg.
“I jumped out of the tree and crawled a mile and a half on my hands and knees to get help,” he said.
Cary was part of the Cause to Wonder team that made their annual appearance at Sprauve in a program aimed at letting students know they can do anything they set out to do. And that includes surviving a bear attack.
Cary and his wife Wendy run Scoop Lake Outfitters, a remote hunting and fishing lodge in British Columbia reached only by float plane. He showed the students a video and slide show of the lodge, including a few pictures of his small planes.
“This is like my pickup truck,” he said, pointing to a shot of his plane as he provided a reference the students could relate to.
The program began with words from chiropractor Dr. Terry Lawson of Colville, Wash. A bit on the serious side as he explained the ins and outs of spines and the importance of taking care of them.
Lawson’s wife, Kelly, who runs his office, told the students that to be good at the job, she had to have math skills and be nice to people, among the several attributes needed to keep the office on an even keel.
Lisa Menna, a St. John resident and magician who founded Cause to Wonder, added a bit of levity to the presentation.
Menna got some laughs when she bent way over, demonstrating the posture often adopted by people talking on their cells phones.
“You only have one spine,” she pointed out to them.
Menna was a hit with her magic tricks that began by making beeps happen when she poked student Peter Felipe, 10, in the stomach and nose.
Like lightning, she was on to the next trick that involved having a student pick a crayon out of a bag and handing it to her behind her back. Diepson Henry, 12, got the honors, and she tricked him and the rest of the students when she correctly identified the color.
She did, however, let them in on the trick when she showed them how she ran her fingernail over the crayon so a bit of the color remained.
While the show and tell and magic tricks were fun, Menna squeezed in several messages about issues the students deal with in their life. She said that when someone says hurtful words to them, they shouldn’t say hurtful words back.
“Say ouch, you hurt my feelings,” she advised.
For more on Cause to Wonder, visit www.causetowonder.org.