I wish I had more friends. Despite its diverse inhabitants, the forest can be quite lonely. Especially at night, when all I can hear are crickets in the distance, chirping their songs. I could venture out to greet them, perhaps ask how their evenings are going or swap twig-soup recipes, but we all know crickets have notoriously short tempers and are quick to profane tirades regarding the value of their non-musical legs. I harbor no ill will toward them, but crickets are simply not friend material for someone like me.
I have been reviewing possible friendship candidates in the forest for the past few days. Rob (the squirrel) reluctantly helped me. He commented, however, that his squirrel feelings were hurt. He felt that he was more than enough friend for me. I had to explain to Rob (the squirrel) that our relationship would not change. We would still share acorns and he could sleep in my fur on chilly nights, but I needed to explore options. I needed more companions in my life. Surely there is a badger or an owl or a deer (well, maybe not a deer) out there who shares common interests with me. Someone I could confide in and with whom I could make new memories. Rob (the squirrel) responded to this line of thinking by hurling an acorn at my eye and hissing at me. He can be strange.
After much deliberation, I complied a short list of potential friends. They are the following:
- Susan (the rabbit)
- Franklyn (the stray tabby cat missing an ear)
- Bernard (the opossum)
- A red bird I saw
- A bunch of napkins I found in a dumpster
- Some sleeping bags I left dirt in once
- Not snakes
Rob (the squirrel) looked over the list. With an unimpressed scoff, he gave me a grimace and ran up a tree, leaving me alone to wonder which name jotted in the dirt near my cave insulted him. I would bet on Bernard. Or maybe that red bird I saw. I suppose it did not matter, though it is not great to see Rob (the squirrel) have hurt feelings. He does not take rejection (or any negative feeling for that matter) very well.
As I stared at the names on the list, something occurred to me: perhaps they can all be my friend. In fact, could not every creature and object I meet (except for the deer by the river and he knows why) be my friend? Elated, I chewed on my paws for a moment before running out into the forest to proclaim our friendship.
On my way to find a clearing (somewhere with soft grass and optimal sunlight) another revelation struck me. If anything and everything can be a friend, then can we not be friends? You, reading this right now, can we be friends?
I am a bear. What are you? Whatever you are, would you like to be my friend? You can still continue being a whatever you are. Being my friend should not change that (I think). I will give you time to think about it. If you decide you want to be my friend, feel free to etch your name in the dirt near my cave. If you do not know how to spell your name, please just leave a checkmark. I will get the point.
But if one of you is the deer across the river, do not leave your name, hoof print, or antler debris anywhere near my cave. If you try to leave any markings, they will be deleted from the dirt. If you try to poke the dirt with a stick, the indentation will be ignored. Even if you are friends with Rob (the squirrel) on his cave dirt (and I am pretty sure he has his own) and he vouches for you, we will not be friends. Never. You are not my friend, and I am not your friend.
As for everyone else, I would love to be your friend. While I wait for your friend approvals, I will roll around in the sun-baked grass. So please, take your time, friends. I know I will.
You can read more bear thoughts by clicking the words you are currently reading.
Yes bear I will be your friend!
Bear, I’ve counted you as a friend since I first saw you. Will you be my friend, too?
See that new carving in the old dead tree trunk over there? That’s from me. “I would like to be your friend.” -Betty
BEARS ARE NATURAL
BEARS ARE GOOD
NOT EVERYBODY LOVES THEM
BUT EVERYBODY SHOULD
Bear, I would be honored to be your friend. Perhaps we could go fishing together.
Hi bear, I’d be happy to be your friend! I’m a fox, and foxes are way more trustworthy and friendly than deer or squirrels. Just ask any other fox and they’ll tell you the same!
I count on you as a friend. I like the way you look & walk & think. I believe you should write a book. I am your friend. Always
My dear fellow, bears must stick together. We are at the very least acquaintances
I am definitely your friend, bear. I love you lots.
The unicorn writes ‘Spiritunicorn’ with her horn before wandering back into the forest.
I’ll definitely be your friend, bear. Do you like to read? We could read together or I could read you a bedtime story or vice versa. Have you read Paddington? Love and hugs from Edith.
Bear, I already consider you my friend :). Btw, I am not a deer or a snake.
How could I not be a friend to a gentle bear like you!
I am a bear too. My name is Ambrose, and I have a human friend named Susan (I call her Sho-shan because that’s how my bear mouth says it). She comes and goes from her world into mine, and once I went into her world,but it was almost a disaster. Are you in her world or mine?
i am a hare