Good thing this is an “old” grizzly and not a “young, rash” one, good that her belly is full of fish (or grape nuts or whatever else bears eat…) so that the first thought is not food, but rather protection. The only thing Cherry is not doing, according to the literature, is curling up into a fetal position. Or standing up and standing the bear off, or punching the bear in the nose, all of which turn up as real advice when asked “what to do in this situation??” Needless to say the jury is still out on that, and one should do anything one CAN do to keep oneself out of this kind of predicament!
But almost as if by magic, the canoe appears in panel two, sneaking up on the threatened bear, looks like Mark has the gun raised at the ready and is surveying the situation… “Cherry or the Bear, the Bear or Cherry… gosh why does life have to be so confusing at times… My Trail-brain knows what is the ‘right thing to do,’ but golly wouldn’t Doc and Rusty be disappointed if I had to tell them that Cherry was sacrificed to the greater good?”