Fuzziness matters.

rubs (2)

Fuzziness is an important aspect of who I am and how I see myself as an individual creature of the forest. My ears are fuzzy. My belly is fuzzy. My neck is fuzzy. Even my paws are fuzzy, which is strange considering they are also leathery and tough. Paws are strange, but we are not here to discuss paws. We are here to discuss fuzziness.

How do I maintain the fuzziness of my fur? This is an important question for any creature who is given the gift of a thick coat of lovely hairs. I cannot speak for all creatures of the forest, but my fuzziness is maintained through a regiment of important daily processes.

Allow me to elaborate.

I spend a great deal of time every single morning rubbing my fur onto something with an interesting texture. Sometimes I seek out the smooth edges of a pebbles to help slick back my fur. Other times I look for something jagged and scratchy like the side of a tree or the side of a rusted dumpster. These rough textures also help alleviate various itches I might feel at the base of my fur. They ruffle my fur, too, making my fuzziness much more messy than usual, but the feeling of the means are worth the awkward looking ends.

I once dragged an old, ragged piece of a carpet I found into my cave. I spent a great deal of time rubbing all of my fur against it. It was one of the best things I had ever found in a dumpster, and I loved every minute I spent with my fur practically glued to its surface. Unfortunately, I eventually had to dispose of that prize after several raccoons ate most of it. I stopped them from completely devouring it, but what was left was hardly enough to maintain my fuzziness.

Water is also important part of fuzziness. Though fur smells incredible after rolling around and basking in many weeks’ worth of forest odors, it is occasionally nice to refresh and revitalize that fur with some clear, cool river water. At first, it seems counterintuitive. When fur is wet, it ceases to have fuzziness. It becomes drenched and loses everything that defines fuzzy. Once the water dries, however, the fuzziness feels crisp, clean, and brand new. I do this process minimally, though. I have a great deal of pride in the collection of smells and debris I collect as I traverse through the forest, and I do not take lightly the idea of trading all of that in just for some wet fur.

Furthermore, this process also means having to see the deer across the river. Oh, how vile that creature is with its ghastly, empty stare. It knows what it did. It will never forget what it did. I will never forget what it did.

I apologize for the digression.

Another great way to maintain fuzziness is to seek out a symbiotic relationship with another creature and/or find a very good friend. For a very long time, no less than three mice (one large one and two tiny ones) resided in a tuft of fur on my back. Their warmth and tiny hands soothed and combed my back fur. I did not let them go uncompensated, too. As often as I could, I would toss small berries or patches of grass onto the tuft by slinging them with my mouth. This beautiful relationship lasted until the tiny mice outgrew the large mouse. They ended up arguing and fighting over the rations of berries and grass. The quarrels became so terrible that their violent squeaks would keep me up at night. I finally evicted them from my body lying on my side and shaking. They quickly scattered into the forest, which was unfortunate because I would have liked to at least formally meet them before they left for good.

I sometimes ask other forest creatures if they would be willing to fill in where the mice left off, but I can find no takers. Those relationships are rare, so if you are lucky enough to find one, make sure you nurture it to the best of your abilities.

Fuzziness matters. It is not simply an issue of aesthetics either. How my fur interacts with my environment says a lot about who I am, and I truly hope all other creatures of the forest take their fuzziness as seriously as I 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?

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