Maybe I should be more mindful of my surroundings.


Relative to most forest creatures, I am quite large. I know this when I think about it. The problem, however, is that I rarely think about my largeness. It is easy to forgot about my largeness when I am merely traversing the forest, trying to be a bear. Maybe I just need more practice thinking about two things at one time (bearness and largeness). Or, maybe I should start focusing more on the largeness part.

It does not affect everything I do in the forest. My largeness is usually not a problem. I fit through most bushes and generally I do not need to scrape up against a tree unless I want to scratch an itch. I still float, too. When I get into the river, I spread out my largeness and I float about. It is nice until the deer across the river inevitably hisses at me with its horrible face, but even that, I believe, is not caused my largeness.

My largeness has caused pain and suffering to those around it, though. The bench I found among a lightly treed part of the forest was one such victim. I sat on it, enjoying my time on it as my fur baked in the sun. It was ever so comfortable and relaxing until I heard a thundering crack beneath me. I looked around, trying to understand where the sound came from, and then, it happened again. I fell through the bench and onto the dirt. With some dramatic thrashing, howling, and wriggling I am not proud of, I managed to escape the corpse of the bench, but the bench was gone. Destroyed. No longer a bench. I felt awful for what I had done. I tried to apologize to the bench, but I was unable to, the guilt holding back my thoughts and forcing me to scurry into the forest where my largeness got in the way again as I stepped on an anthill by total accident.

Had I murdered again? Had I turned into such a terrible beast, unable to care or empathize with those who were subjected to my largeness? Before I could answer any of these questions, the biting began.

I ran some more, bumping into trees and smashing branches and stepping on who knows what. By the time I was back in my cave, I promised myself I would try to control my largeness. When I woke from the nap that followed that event, I realized there was little I could do about my largeness. I suppose being large is just part of being a bear. I also realized, though, that I needed to at least be more mindful of my largeness. I had a duty, as a largeness having creature, to ensure my largeness did not negatively hurt others.

I also do not like ant bites…

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 Facebook.

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Am I supposed to get better at being a bear?


I have no way to tell how good of a bear I am. I do not interact with other bears. I do not receive performance reviews from the forest on a regular basis. No other creature stops to tell me if I am doing being a bear particularly well or terribly (they do stop to screech at me, however, but I am not sure if that counts as a substantial review of my bear performance).

Since I have no way to determine if I am good at being a bear, I really have no way to determine if I should have progressed in my bearness. I have never gotten any kind of clue or indication that I should be getting better at being a bear over some period of time. Should I be a better bear each day? Each year? Is my progress meant to be incremental or something that should be obvious and very easily noticeable?

Or, maybe, I am not supposed to become a better bear. There is a chance that my bearness is not meant to grow. Maybe I am a bear, and I am supposed to be just the bear I am. Not a better one. Not a worse one. Just one, single bear that I already am until I am not a bear anymore.

I do not like that, though.

I feel like there are things about being a bear that I have improved upon. Take, for example, my ability to walk on my hind-legs. For a very long time, I was quite terrible at walking on my hind-legs. I could hurl my upper body toward the sky for only a brief moment before I came tumbling down. Now, I can balance on my hind-legs long enough to reach a branch I need or to get a better look at a bird’s nest. It took time and practice, but eventually I got pretty good at doing it.

I suppose my hind-leg-walking-ability forces me to think about what bearness really is to begin with. Is that something that a bear does? Is it something a bear needs to be good at? Does it really even matter? I like doing it, so I suppose it matters to me, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily matters to being a bear, but it does matter to me, so it does matter to my meness, and I am a bear. The logic gets circular and confusing quickly, but either way, I like walking on my hind-legs, and getting better at it makes me feel like a better me.

I suppose that is all that matters for now. For me. A bear.

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 Facebook.

An abbreviated list of things that frightened me today.


Here is a list of the things that frightened me today:

  • A snake I saw
  • A stick I saw that looked like the snake I saw
  • A different snake I saw
  • A stick I saw that looked like and actually was the second, different snake I saw
  • I might have just seen sticks instead of snakes today
  • Some very fast clouds (where are you going, clouds? Should I follow?)
  • An angry fish (it looked very angry at least)
  • Some sounds
  • My own shadow (twice, at least)
  • A feeling of helplessness as I watched an abandoned bird nest fall out of a tree and land onto a sharp rock, crashing outward into pieces of some creature’s forgotten memories of warmth and security
  • A new bug
  • Belly pains (until I ate the new bug (sorry, new bug))
  • A falsely perceived lack of fuzziness of my fur (do not worry, further investigation of my fuzziness led to the realization that I am still very, extremely even, fuzzy)
  • The possibility of trees having teeth (could you imagine?)
  • More sounds
  • The dumpster that almost trapped me (at first I was okay with the idea because it would not be so horrible to be trapped in a dumpster, forced to live out your days in its beautiful aroma, but then I realized there were three raccoons in the dumpster with me and there was just too much hissing for me to take a decent nap so I wanted to get out as soon as I could)
  • Some hissing raccoons
  • The idea that so many things frighten me (perhaps I should try to be less frightened of these things so I do not always feel so overwhelmed, but could it really be so simple?)
  • More snakes (just thinking about them)
  • The sun’s glare at one point (I was not able to see for a brief moment, which really upset and scared me)
  • So many sounds
  • A feeling that made me believe that I did not know where I was supposed to be at a given moment so I wandered around for awhile until the feeling was gone because it was very unpleasant
  • An acorn that got stuck in between my toes
  • The sky (again)

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 Facebook.

I do not know where my thoughts go when I am done thinking them.


My bear brain is quite active. I have thoughts and ideas and memories and other unidentifiable things going on in there practically all the time. It is rare my bear brain feels switched off, and even when it does feel that way, I usually end up thinking about how it feels that way, which switches it right back on.

But all of these processes that go on in there are not going on all the time at the same time. That would be overwhelming, I am sure, so my bear brain tends to a task or thought or an anything at all one at a time. That makes everything more manageable, of course. I am, however, often bothered by the idea that these thoughts and such just go when I do not need them. It bothers me simply because I do not know where, exactly, they go.

Everything in the forest can be touched and moved and smelled, so it is usually quite easy to keep track of the comings and goings of these things (except squirrels for obvious reasons). Thoughts are not like that. They do not have a cave they head home to when they are done for the day. They do not wait around in a perceivable place, anticipating your next need for their use. I have no idea where they go. Some can get memorized, which I guess is as close to a cave for them to go home to as there gets, but even that is not tangible. Even those can just go. 

And when they do decide to go they are gone.

Sometimes these thoughts never come back. I frequently lament the loss of a thought, wishing it had stayed a little longer so I could commit it to memory, but most do not. It would be nice to know that they at least go off to a nice place. Somewhere warm and safe. But part of me believes that they go on to nothing. They simply stop being. I do not like that thought, and it is a thought that does not really go away like others do.

I try to hold onto the important thoughts. I try really hard to remember the sorts of thoughts that make forest living easier, but I am sure I have even lost some of those. And when they are gone, they leave nothing behind but a strange, fleeting empty feeling. Then again, maybe they can come back and I am simply unable to recognize them. Maybe thoughts can come to my bear brain, seemingly new to me, and recycle themselves. But who knows.

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 Facebook.

How many suns and moons do we get?


The sun and the moon have a reliable rotation about them. They are seen at a particular time and then they leave at a particular time. Sometimes they are covered by clouds, and every once in awhile the moon does not show up, likely to enjoy a much deserved break, but for the most part, these sky giants are very reliable. The presence of each one is comforting and makes living in the forest easier and warmer.

But sometimes, I wonder if I am assuming too much by thinking I see the same sun every single day. It looks like the same sun, usually. Sometimes it’s slighter more orange than usual or slightly more yellow than usual, but it looks roughly the same. But maybe these little distinctions indicate a new sun. This process goes even further for the moon, who seems to change its shape on a near daily basis. Maybe there are multiple of both of these things. Maybe every time the sun is done with the forest for the day, it goes off to another place, either resting or providing more warmth for a new forest somewhere else, and so another, equally warm sun replaces by the morning.

But if that is so, where do all those suns and moons go? I hope they are okay.

Also, if the sun and the moon can have this happen to them, how could I know whether or not something similar happens to all things in the forest? Maybe every night, as I lay my fuzzy head upon the bed of moss I have collected in my cave, everything I know and adore about the forest switches out, is replaced, by something that looks similar to it. The rock outside of my cave? What if that is not the same rock that I know so well? What if, every day, that rock changes, and I am getting to know a new rock every morning? Perhaps this even applies to other creatures. For every squirrel I see, are there an infinite number of squirrels it has replaced? And are there infinite more squirrels to come and replace it? That is far too many squirrels.

I hope I am not replaced each day. I do not feel replaced. I feel like the same bear I was yesterday, but if the sun can be replaced and the moon can be replaced then certainly I can be replaced, oh no, I hope that is not true?

Then again, this is all hypothetical. I do not know if anything gets replaced. I hope I see the same sun every morning. It feels like the same sun. I feel like the same bear.

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 Facebook.

When does the forest end?


The forest has been around for as long, and maybe even longer, as I can remember. I have always existed in the forest. To my knowledge, there is no other place. Everything I know is in the forest.

I do not know how long the forest has been around, so I wonder if it has always been here. Was there something before the forest? Or maybe the forest has always been here, just in different iterations. I could imagine a great deal of different scenarios about where and how long the forest has been. But, regardless of its past, what the forest was before I was in it would not matter. I would admire, respect, and depend on it in the same manner.

Where it is going, however, is a different story.

I will likely continue to live in the forest for as long as I am a bear, so it is certainly in my best interest to know and understand where the forest is going. What does the forest plan to do in the future? Will it continue being the forest? Will it stop being the forest? Will it invest in a new accessory (like a hat or something)? Will it always be okay with having me, a bear? How will the forest stop being the forest? Is fire involved?

The forest never responds to the questions no matter how loudly I growl them at trees. Should the forest decide to stop being the forest one day, I am not sure what I will do. I depend on the forest in just about every corner of my existence. Maybe there are more, though. I have never really entertained the idea extensively, but what if there is more than just the one forest? Maybe I do not live in the forest, but rather forest. If my forest ceases, perhaps I could go to one of these other possible forests. That poses new dangers and questions, though. Where is it? Is it nice? Does it have snakes? Does it have something worst than snakes (maybe double-snakes, whatever that could be)? What if it stops being a forest, too?

For now, I just have my forest and however long it will continue to be a forest. I suppose dwelling on the absence of something that has always been here is useless since, even if it does go away, what would I even be able to do?

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 Facebook.

How I handled a bee I saw after it saw me: a series of mistakes that led to a strange triumph.


As the air gets warmer and the forest gets greener, it is clear that spring is shaking the forest loose from the harsh, extensive grip that winter sometimes seems to have. It is, generally speaking, a welcome change in my daily forest interactions. The mud from the rain is nice. The air is warm but not wet yet. Trees seem to enjoy it. Flowers certainly do (and you can eat those, which is a bonus).

The forest seems slightly more pleasant in the spring than it does during other times of the year.

Until you see a bee.

I have seen a great many bees in my lifetime, and bees and I generally have an understanding: I will keep sniffing things and ignoring you and you will keep being a bee and ignoring me. It is reasonable to me, and most bees are quite polite about the policy. It is best, for all creatures involved, if we ignore one another.

Today, though, I admit, I failed. I failed to ignore a bee.

I saw the bee.

And then it saw me, its deep, midnight gaze piercing through my very bearness, tearing its way through everything I have ever thought I was. That moment lasted a small eternity, if that is possible. In that moment, I obsessed over the worst possible thing that could happen as a result of this encounter: stinging things. If you have never been stung by a bee, consider your life a lucky, fulfilled one because being stung by a bee might be the worst thing that can happen to anyone who encounters a bee. It is such a devastating, awful event that when a bee stings you, it rids itself from the forest entirely, likely because of the guilt it feels for bringing such terror to another creature’s life.

I did not want to get stung. And I did not want this bee not be a bee anymore (even if it was terrorizing every bit of my sensibilities). I did what any normal creature would do… I yelled at the bee. I was hoping this would scare the bee, but it only yelled back, its harsh buzzing sounds echoing through my fuzzy ears, a shrill reminder of the pain to come after the inevitable stinging.

So… I did what any normal creature would do after yelling at something with no success… I ran at it… In the moment, it felt like the right thing to do. I knew I was much larger than a bee, so I figured it would be terrified of my largeness multiplied by my speed.

It was not.

It hovered above me, as if to mock my grounded paws. It had the high ground (or, air, I suppose) and was surely about to strike. I, again, did what I thought any normal forest creature would do… I closed my eyes and gasped, my mouth sitting wide open just long enough for the bee to fly right into it…

I panicked. I ran. I shook my face violently. And then I spit. The bee hit the ground, covered in my saliva. I felt terrible. What had I done to this poor bee, its only crime being its sight of me?

Its tiny wings fluttered, shook my spit from it, and it unceremoniously took flight. Before I could ask for its forgiveness, it was gone, back in the depths of forest it came from, away from me.

I was shaken by the event. I felt a strange mix of guilt and triumph. I fought a bee, which usually ends with at least one causality, and we both lived to tell the tale. And I think I even won.

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 Facebook.