How does Lyddie react when the bear enters the cabin?

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Lyddie remains calm and helps her family get into the loft.

Lyddie lives with her mother and her three younger siblings: a brother and two sisters.  Their father left them alone on the farm to go west looking for work.  Since Lyddie’s mother had been mentally unstable from the time...

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Lyddie remains calm and helps her family get into the loft.

Lyddie lives with her mother and her three younger siblings: a brother and two sisters.  Their father left them alone on the farm to go west looking for work.  Since Lyddie’s mother had been mentally unstable from the time her youngest child was born, that made Lyddie the adult of the group.

One day, the door was not closed well enough and a bear walked into the cabin.  Lyddie immediately takes charge and does not panic.  She tells her mother and siblings not to yell because it might scare the bear.

"Just back up slow and quiet to the ladder and climb up to the loft. Charlie, you get Agnes, and Mama, you take Rachel." She heard her mother whimper. "Shhh," she continued, her voice absolutely even. "It's all right long as nobody gets upset. Just take it nice and gentle, ey? I'm watching him all the way, and I'll yank the ladder up after me." (Ch. 1)

Lyddie stares down the bear, and he acts as if under a charm.  The bear then starts looking around for food.  The butter churn and apple butter are unsatisfying, and the bear goes for the oatmeal.  Lyddie’s reaction is to hope he does not break anything.

 Lyddie held her breath, praying that he wouldn't break anything.  Charles and she would try to mend, but he was only ten and she thirteen.  They hadn't their father's skill or experience. /Don't break nothing, she begged silently. They couldn't afford to replace any of the household goods. (Ch. 1)

This is another example of how Lyddie keeps her head and focuses on the bigger picture.  She is more worried about the damage the bear does than she is afraid of it.

The bear eventually leaves because he drops the hot oatmeal on his head and runs off.  Lyddie, Charlie, and her sisters all think that the incident with the bear is very funny once the bear leaves.  Their mother gets upset though, and does not feel safe any longer.  She decides to go stay with Lyddie’s uncle.

Lyddie says that the bear is their undoing, because it broke up what was left of their family.  Their mother takes Agnes and Rachel, the two youngest, with her.  Lyddie and Charlie are on their own on the farm for awhile until their mother rents out the land and sends them both off to work.

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