What a wonderful story! Thank you for posting it.Have written this story before.
While camping with my family in the Smokies (1962) a MotherBear and her 3 cubs visited the campground frequently.
One night our family returned to the campground around ten. All was quiet and very dark.
My father and the boys were in their tent.
My mother, sister and I headed for the latrine, a long distance away. Halfway there we heard MotherBear, then saw her about 40' - 50' away.
Mother decided to return to our site; tell Dad and keep my four year old brother from walking out of the tent.
The unexpected movement of three humans turning around disturbed MotherBear.
She made a sound that sent the cubs up a tree. Then she charged.
We stopped. I stretched out my arms to protect my Mother and sister.
MotherBear was charging . . . fast. Space closing. Expected to feel her claws in my flesh.
My Mother made a loud sound : a sound she never made before or since. Perhaps it could be called a bark.
MotherBear stopped in her tracks ! Was it 12' or 10' or 5' ? I do not know.
She had stopped her charge, looked at us a few moments, turned, called down her cubs and walked away.
We stood there shaking. Trying to understand what had happened.
( For the sixteen year old I was, it was a life defining moment : knowing I had stood to protect my family. )
A man appeared out of the darkness, a hunter, and he explained what had happened.
MotherBear understood our actions : defensive, not threatening. MotherBear stopped her charge because she understood
that the loud, one note sound my Mother made was the same mother language she had used.
hammock memory : the next day at the same campsite.
The rest of the family went on a hike. I stayed at the site, reading and took a nap in the hammock.
I was wakened by a fairly gentle bump, thought it was one of my brothers teasing.
I opened my eyes as the back of a bear moved away from the hammock.
I felt no fear; there was an overwhelming good sense of being part of wild nature.G