The chief of Finland's Paper Workers Union can negotiate his way out of even the toughest situation - like, perhaps, persuading a bear not to swipe his sausage.

Artturi Pennanen, 55, said his family was grilling sausages and brewing tea on an island off southeastern Finland last week when the bear surprised them, the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper reported Saturday.After his wife failed to drive the bear away by shouting and clapping, Pennanen succeeded by barking at it.

"I tried to mimic the low growl of a sheep dog, and then threw in a few tight, vicious barks," the newspaper quoted him as saying. "The bear jumped into the nearest pine and climbed (16 to 20 feet) surprisingly fast."

The Pennanens own a summer villa in Ruokolahti, 150 miles northeast of Helsinki, where a bear killed a jogger three weeks ago.