You can eat just about anything. It is one of the greatest joys of life in the forest. Berries, dirt, sticks, pine-cones, fish skeletons, fox carcasses, anthills, plastic cups, tents, those plastic sticks that hold up tents, hats, or even pebbles. All of those things and more. You can eat it all if you really want to.
I fear I might be the only creature in the forest who is completely aware of this fact. This thought occurred to me when I found a perfectly good aluminum can to chew on buried under some pine needles (edible) and worms (also edible). There is no way that I was the first creature to stumble upon such a wonderful gift for any stomach. It could have very easily been anybody’s wonderful gift for their respective stomachs. The can was old. It was crushed and covered in hard dirt (which was also edible).
This can had been seen. It had to have come in contact with someone (or someones) who eats things.
So why did I find it before those other someones? Why was it not consumed prior before I got to it? This is not an uncommon occurrence, either. I frequently find these kinds of treasures throughout the forest. Untouched gifts that I gather and feast upon in my cave. Am I truly the only one who spends nights in a cave, enjoying the fruits of a bountiful foraging expedition? Does nobody else in the forest find the nutritional value in the brown paper bag I found caught on the limb of a tree, tattered and torn and likely delicious?
I decided I would try to spread the word of these limitless gifts. Using a moss covered, hollowed out log I found near my cave as a table, I setup a shop that displayed the numerous wonders the forest had to offer. For free, any creature was welcomed to approach my display, ask about an item, and take it back to his/her den.
As I waited for other forest inhabitants to take a gander at my wares, I accidentally ate many of them. At first, I had displayed a fish skeleton, a small bushel of red berries I had never seen before, the aforementioned aluminum can, a glass bottle, a crumpled up paper bag, a tin can, and some sticks.
By the time the first creature arrived, I only had the glass bottle, the tin can, and the paper bag left. She was a raccoon. She must have been in the log the entire time. I had not seen her enter or exit my makeshift table before then. She slowly shuffled out of the log and climbed to the top.
She sniffed the tin can.
She pushed it with her tiny paws.
Then she grabbed it with her teeth and ran away.
Success! I had convinced a fellow forest friend to partake in the wonders of forest foraging. She did not have anything to say about the can other than the distant hisses I heard from the direction she ran toward, but I was still excited at the idea of spreading awareness.
I waited a little while longer for any other forest creatures who wanted to be enlightened. Eventually, the wind picked up the paper bag and carried it off. I had not considered that even elements of the forest might like to enjoy what the forest had to offer. Perhaps the rain would like to try the glass bottle?
I wanted to ensure any creature or thing in the forest who wanted to see my findings could be able to, so I decided to stick around long after my inventory was down to just one glass bottle. I waited for a very long time. To pass the time, I chewed on the moss (another amazing thing to eat in the forest) that covered the old log. Surely there had to be something or someone out there who wanted to hear what I had to share about the forest.
Nobody came. The moon was overhead as I picked up the empty bottle and carried it to my cave. I wanted to spread awareness, which I did to a small extent, but I was saddened to realize very few animals of the forest were interested in what I had to say.
I wanted to help my fellow forest dwellers, but I hardly made an impact when it came to sharing my ideas. I should have been delighted. After all, if nobody wanted to eat the old wallet I found in an abandoned tent, did that not just mean more for me? Yet I could not get over how unheard I felt. I had something to say, but nobody wanted to listen. Even the raccoon did not stay long enough to hear why I had a display of tin cans and paper bags.
I keep a rock in my cave. It rests in the darkest part of my dwelling. When I feel like I have not been heard or when I need to say something that I cannot tell anyone, I tell my rock. I dropped the empty bottle next to the rock and explained how useful item was. I told my rock that it had a wonderful taste and smelled like mold. Then I told my rock about the raccoon and the wind. Then I explained how I felt not being listened to by anyone else.
I think the rock understood. I left the bottle next to it and curled up in a ball to sleep. It is nice to be heard, even by rocks.
To read more thoughts from this particular bear, interact with the blue or grey parts of this sentence. Also, be on the look out for a new bear adventure.