Birds and their shadows and the tricks they play.

bird eating me (2)

Shadows are an insane mystery in the forest. I know pretty much everything has a shadow, and I know that, generally, that shadow relates to the sun in terms of where it is when you see it, but I have no idea why they are there and what they are planning. For a long time, I was convinced that it was possible to fall inside of them (this came from a misunderstanding I had during a brief encounter with a mole). That is not the case, though. They just make some parts of whatever they are resting upon (the ground, other things, your face) darker for no real reason.

If you pay attention to shadows, though, they can help you manage your awareness of your immediate surroundings. That can be helpful. There have been many times where someone was trying to sneak past me and into my cave to probably take my collection of mold covered rocks, and I caught them because of the elongated shadow that was hurled from them onto the rocky floor. My collection of mold covered rocks owes a lot to shadows. That might be why they exist in general: to help protect my lovely rocks.

Not everyone in the forest uses shadows for good, though. I have, on far too many occasions, accidentally thought the shadow of a bird was something much larger than a bird that was definitely planning on eating me. I do not want to be eaten. Ever. So when I see something that seems like it might want to eat me, I do what any creature probably does when that threat hovers over them: I ran, the whole time staring at the thing that probably wanted to eat me, and crashed into a tree.

Each time this scenario has played out, I have looked all around only to find that a bird in the sky was casting the shadow onto the ground from up high. I know I should have learned my lesson by now, but it is hard to think rationally when you are completely convinced that something is going to eat you.

I do not think it is the same bird, either, as when I have looked up to see the bird playing such a cruel trick against me, it has always been a different color. This has forced me to consider if this is some kind of collaborative ruse crafted by a hateful group of birds. If so, what do they want from me and why do they want it and why can they not find some other way to hurt my feelings other than to make me feel like I am about to be eaten?

I have tried asking a bird, but I have never gotten an answer that did not involve the senseless chirping they are so known for.

For now, when I see a shadow, I have to assume the worst possible scenario: something wants to eat me. If I do not, then something might catch me off guard and actually eat me. Perhaps birds are trying to eat me?

Have birds grown so hostile and bold?

Should I stop making fun of their chirping sounds and accidentally sitting in their nests because they are so comfortable?

Please do not eat me, birds.

Please.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on the book of faces.

The deer across the river pushed me into the river.

The deer across the river pushed me into the river.

deer evil (2)

I did not actually see this happen, but I am absolutely sure it was him. Who else could act so aggressively and maliciously against everything that I am? I do not mind being in the water, but to be suddenly (and without my consent) placed into the river? No. That is not good, and I do not like it, and I am so very angry at the deer across the river and how vile of a creature he truly is.

I am sorry.

I do not mean to come off so flustered, but this was a very bad experience for me. I smelled an interesting and strange smell coming from what was probably a bug or a leaf or maybe a neat rock across the river where I usually get water and look at my reflection. It was coming from where the deer across the river usually stands, mocking me with his knowing glances and horrible demeanor. Against my best interests, I decided to go to the interesting smell. I knew the risk: the deer could be there at any moment, and surely an experience with him would be incredibly upsetting. I liked the smell of whatever was there, though, and I was willing to risk a chance encounter with the deer to smell such a lovely smell up close.

I swam across the river and climbed onto the ground. My paws got muddy as I hurled my wet nose into the soil, searching for the smell I had caught from across the river. I followed the lovely aroma to a tree that leaned toward the river. On one of the lowest branches of the tree sat a bug. I climbed to it, ignoring the tiny cracks of the tree that begged me not to. I told myself I would not spend too much time on the tree, so the cracking sounds could be ignored. I breathed in heavily to fill the insides of my bearness with the smell of this fascinating bug. I did this for awhile, and I was not interrupted by the deer during this crucial smelling experience (at least I can thank him for that, I suppose).

The bug flew away eventually. When it did, It was time to go back to my side of the river, and I cautiously climbed back down to the ground, trying not to bend the branch anymore than I already had. I was surprised the deer was not around yet, but I accepted my luck and approached the river.

Right as I tossed my first paw forward toward the water, I felt a rough jab against my backside. I slipped on the muddy ground and catapulted toward the river. With an embarrassing, enormous splash, I crashed into the water. My ears were instantly filled with water and anger as I desperately paddled my front paws to get to the surface. I knew who was behind this villainous act before my snout got to fresh forest air. The deer across the river. He stood where I had fallen. Beside him laid a broken branch. Surely it was his weapon of choice to commit this atrocity. He had even chosen the branch I had used to comfortably enjoy the smells of a new bug/possible friend. It was cruel. I made desperate growling sounds toward him as he puffed out his lips and made whatever you call the awful sounds deer make when they make sounds (it sounds like coughing but somehow more sickly and depressing).

I got back to my side of the river. I stared at him until my fur began to dry. I wanted him to apologize for what he did, though I knew that would be impossible. I would settle for an admission to guilt, but I never got one. After some more hacking/coughing, the deer walked away. He left his weapon behind.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on the book of faces.

You are a bear. Do not get ants in your nose.

You are a bear. Living in the forest provides you with an array of fascinating smells, sights, and food. You live for the eclectic forest experiences that you collect on a daily basis. Every tree stump, abandoned cave, riverbed, bushel, and strange human structure offers a unique, amazing sensory overload.

Among these fascinating structures: an anthill.

You have never licked, smelled, clawed at, or even thought too deeply of anthills. Before today, you had never even seen an anthill that was idle, without ants. This anthill currently has no ants rummaging around the top of it. It is idle.

Without ants. At least ones you can see.

It is a very nice anthill.

You choose to…

I am afraid of being eaten and so should you.

snake food (2)

There are many dangers in the forest. Angry berries can poison your belly. Pointy, sharp sticks can pierce your fur and skin and paws and tongue. Rocks might fall on you from above. You can trip into the river and get mocked by a deer. You can get sad. The sky might fall from itself only to consume you and embarrass you. A very unfriendly squirrel might ask you a question you cannot answer.

You can get eaten.

Being eaten is the really scary one. There is no telling when or even if a thing might want to eat you or whether or not that thing will actually decide to really eat you. It is a constant threat in the lives of all things in the forest. I have seen many things get eaten. I have even eaten many things (sorry, things I have eaten). I once saw a cluster of ants devour a bird who was very still and not very bird-like in what must have been a brief moment of bird weakness. The ants plucked away every bit of the bird’s outsides, leaving tiny innards and bones behind. As if the devouring was not enough to damage the weakened bird, another larger bird dropped from the sky and plucked the remains of the shattered bird, chewing and swallowing the bits and bones as it flew away.

That bird was eaten. And I am sure that bird was not fond of being eaten.

The image of that helpless bird being torn apart and spread out through different creatures of the forest haunts me and fuels my constant worry of being eaten.

Nothing thwarts that worry. I live in a constant state of not wanting to be eaten, and I am sure that almost everything else in the forest feels the same. After all, who is not vulnerable to being eaten? This becomes even more of a difficult concept for me to wrestle with when I consider all the things I eat. Berries, twigs, fish, the moss on my cave, flies who get very close to my nose, and even plastic bags I find all live in a similar state of fear because of me and other creatures who want to eat them. They all, too, probably invoke that fear into the things they eat. The forest perpetuates a strange cycle of anxiety through everyone being food for someone else. It makes me wish that eating, despite how fulfilling and lovely the act is, was not necessary. I wish we could all be the things we are without having to eat other things that the things they are.

But that probably is not going to happen, so maybe acceptance of the inevitability of being eaten is the next best option. It is not that easy, though. I do not want to be eaten. Nobody does, and even though I know it will probably happen one day, I really hope is does not. Until it does, though, I will probably obsess over it. I will spend too much of my time worrying about the possibility of it happening and the potential gory details that might result from it. It is silly to fret over something that is so wildly out of your control, but there is no helping it. I will always want to not get eaten.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on the book of faces.

PS

Please look at this bear thing that @lirien made. It talks what Bear talks:

Product Review: A thing I found in the dumpster near the fence with the hole in it that I fit in.

I recently found a thing in the dumpster near the fence with the hole in it that I fit in. It was a circular black wiry thing with one covered end and one open end. It had some metal cutouts of what I probably look like from a very far away distance. It also had some metal cutouts of trees and some pointy things. It looked like this thing here. I have no idea what this thing is or what it is for, but it seems like a very interesting thing, and I like it.

I wanted to figure out the ins and outs of this thing that I found and whether or not this thing that I found was a good thing that I found or a bad thing that I found. To do this, I decided to put this thing that I found through a number of crucial tests, rating its performance on those tests out of a five (or however many I can find at the time) leaves. I put the thing I found through three stress tests: sitability (how well I can sit on this thing I found), lickability (how well this thing I found can be licked (taste, texture, chewiness, etc.)), and collectability (how much I want to keep this thing I found in my cave as a wonderful prize to be treasured forever). I also gave the thing I found an overall leaf rating at the end.

Test 1: Sitability (how well I can sit on this thing I found)

This thing I found has a few different ways to be sat upon. Like I said when I described it, it has two ends: one with an opening and one that is closed off. It also has the roundness of the metal wiry bits and cutouts connecting the two ends. That gave this thing I found three potential sitting areas.

Unfortunately, out of the three potential sitting places, only one was even remotely pleasant. The opened end provided no comfort or support, and I actually got stuck inside the thing I found, which was not fun and actually very scary. The rounded side with the metal wires and cutouts was far too lopsided and rolly for me to get any good sitting out of it. It actually slipped out from under me many times while I tried to sit on it. The closed end did provide an interesting sitting spot for quite some time, but the position I had to sit in while utilizing this side eventually strained my front legs and back.

Overall, the thing I found was not a great thing to sit on. Perhaps the forest did not design it to be sat upon, but it is not often I find something that I cannot sit on.

Sitability rating: 3 leaves out of 5

Leaf rating (2)

Test 2: Lickability (how well this thing I found can be licked) 

All things have tastes. This is an indisputable fact about the forest and everything within it. Not all things have lovely tastes, though. What about the thing I found in the dumpster by the fence with the hole in it that I can fit in? How does this particular thing taste and how well can it be licked by me or any other willing forest creature?

I spent quite some time licking the metal wired thing I found. It tasted okay, but it also tasted like nothing in particular. If it reminded me of anything, I would have to say it tasted like rocks. Not exactly like rocks, but very much like rocks. Its texture, however, was actually quite interesting. The thing I found is very smooth and a little slick, so my tongue glided right over it with every lick, shining the metal bits of wire and cutouts as I did. Unfortunately, the thing I found is definitely not chewable. I tried. It hurt my teeth.

Lickability rating: I could only find 3 really good leaves, so out of that many leaves, maybe 2 and a half? So I bit one of the leaves in half to show that.

Leaf rating (3)

Test 3: Collectability (how much I want to keep this thing I found in my cave as a wonderful prize to be treasured forever)

This thing I found is definitely one of the more interesting things I have ever found. Who knew I could get a chance to lick tiny metal cutouts of what I probably look like from a very faraway distance? That is a very unique experience, so of course, I felt a need to bring it back to my cave and keep it with me forever. Unfortunately, while carrying it up a particularly steep hill to get back to my cave, I accidentally dropped the thing I found and it rolled down the hill. I ran after it, but it was very fast and I had to slow down because going that fast down a hill is very scary. I lost the thing I found. It rolled into some unknown depth of the forest that surely needed the thing I found more than I did. There was also an owl staring at me from the direction the thing I found rolled toward, and I am pretty sure the owl was very angry at me and I did not want to risk upsetting the owl any further, so I gave up my search for the thing I found. But I definitely would have wanted to keep it in my cave for a very long time.

Collectability rating: I found a pile of leaves, so I am going to rate it an entire pile of leaves out of an entire pile of leaves.

Leaf rating (4)

Overall rating: Two piles of leaves, and I only found one pile of leaves so I had to make up one new pile of leaves just to make this rating happen, so really, the overall rating is one pile of leaves and one imaginary pile of leaves.

Leaf rating (5)

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on the book of faces.

For more information about the thing Bear found for this post, please visit Black Forest Decor. This lovely company puts all kinds of great forest creatures on things you might use in your human cave house. Unfortunately, most of these things are not great to sit on or lick. So if you are looking for things to lick or to sit on that feature various forest creatures (and who isn’t?) maybe try another place.

PS

Please look at this bear thing that @lirien made. It talks what Bear talks:

 

Here are some things I collected today.

Here is a list of the things I have collected today:

  • New (to me) rabbit skeleton (gently used)
  • Fish scales (found under some wet dirt (strange))
  • A pile of acorns (attacked for taking these, but I am not sure if they belonged to anybody (if they are yours, angry raccoon, I am sorry))
  • A lizard’s tail (accident, I promise)
  • Four rocks
    • One small rock, brown
    • One small rock, grey
    • One medium rock, mossy
    • One medium rock, loose (it broke, so maybe five rocks total? (is a rock divided a single rock?))
  • Lovely stick
  • Strange plastic container thing that might have ghosts in it because I heard strange sounds coming from it
  • Maybe ghosts
  • Where did my lovely stick go?
  • A bird took the lovely stick
  • Is he bringing it back?
  • No, he is going very far away with my lovely stick
  • Please, do not do that, bird
  • Please, bring my stick back, it is my stick
  • This is how the angry raccoon must have felt
  • I am sorry, raccoon
  • I will leave the acorns where I found them
  • A squirrel took the acorns
  • And now my fish scales are gone?
  • Why did I line up everything I collected today so neatly and prominently in front of my cave? I should have known that this would happen and I do not know what to do now
  • I just want my stick back, please, bird, give me my stick back
  • Oh, the bird is back
  • Oh, bird, can I have my stick back?
  • No, he took the small rock, too
  • Please, stop, bird
  • I will bring everything I can into my cave where it might not be so stolen all the time, what have I done to deserve this, I am so scared and upset
  • I brought the rabbit skeleton into my cave
  • No, now all of the rocks are gone
  • Who took them?
  • Please, bird, stop taking my things
  • The lizard tail is still here and I am very lucky for that and I will bring it back to my cave and place it next to the rabbit skeleton and then I will stay inside my cave and guard those two items and feel grateful that I even have those items to keep and hold and feel good about
  • It is gone
  • The rabbit skeleton is gone
  • Why
  • Who would
  • do
  • this?
  • Please
  • Is it you, bird?
  • Did you take my rabbit skeleton?
  • Is it my rabbit skeleton?
  • Why do I think it is mine?
  • It belongs to a rabbit
  • And I just found it
  • Just like the bird found my stick and now some ants are carrying away the lizard tail
  • I own nothing and that might be for the best
  • What if someone assumed they could just take me because they found me?
  • I am sorry, bird, I hope you get what you need out of that rabbit skeleton and stick, and I am sure you needed it more than I did
  • I really hope there were not ghosts in that plastic thing
  • Some berries (ate before I got back to my cave to neatly organize all of my findings)

mine bird

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on the book of faces.

The bat I met might want to be friends.

bat friend (2)

I had never met a bat before the bat that I met in my cave who flew into my fur.

I did not know anything about bats, but I had seen them from time to time while going through the forest, searching for neat rocks and licking clumps of moss. For a very long time, I thought they were birds, but when I saw one hanging upside down from a tree one night, I realized that only a very strange or sick bird might do something like that.

I have never really had an interest in meeting one, to be perfectly honest. It was never out of hatred or fear of what bats are or could be, I just did not know enough about them to know how to approach them, so I figured it was best to stay away from them.

If that seems thoughtless, that is because it was. I did not put much thought into how my potential interactions with any/all bats from now until I am no longer able to have interactions with bats. That carelessness comes from how infrequently I even see them. Bats are very rare from my observations, so I never had a way to gain an interest in meeting one.

That was until a bat flew at me and into my fur. Recently, I was spending a lovely evening in my cave, resting my chin on a sharp rock because my chin had itched and the rock was able to scratch it. It was a very nice way to spend my night, and I really figured that my chin-rock-scratching was going to be the last thing I did that night. Right when I felt my chin had been scratched enough, I heard a strange squeaking sound followed by what sounded like frantic flapping. The sounds got louder and louder and then my fur felt unsettled, rattled. When I turned my head toward the place of distraction, I was startled to find the close-up face of a tiny bat.

It stared.

I stared.

We let the moment linger.

And then I jumped and ran and whimpered as I scooted in circles around my cave floor, trying to convince myself that my fur was fine and on longer invaded by some flying creature of the night.

I eventually settled down, and when I looked up, I could see the bat hanging from the top of my cave, bathed in moonlight and my own fear.

I tried going to sleep once I realized that was what the bat was most likely doing. So I nestled my head under my paws and got some rest.

When I woke up, the bat was gone.

I think we might be friends now, but I really have no concrete way of knowing. My feelings about bats are still mixed. I do not know if they are vile, winged creatures of the night who have come to startle my fur and upset my sensibilities or just very confused, unfortunate looking creatures of the night who have come to startle my fur and upset my sensibilities. Either way, I hope next time the bat at least asks to come in before it furiously flies through my fur.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on the book of faces.