There are many things that scare me: loud, unidentifiable sounds; loud, identifiable sounds; not being a bear; being too much of a bear; loud, angry opossums; fish who have sharp teeth; the idea of trees possibly ending one day and me having to understand a forest without trees and considering maybe it would be easier to see everyone from a distance but then again maybe it is nice not being able to see everyone from a long distance; drowning; hunger; Rob (the squirrel) (please do not tell him).
I could go on.
And I will for a moment: birds that stare at me aggressively; tents collapsing on me while I am sifting through them; possible anti-bear sentiments that various woodland creature or maybe even rocks hold but are not vocal about while I am in their presence; rocks maybe not liking me; overthinking rocks; disrespecting rocks by considering my analysis of them “overthinking”; not having fur; getting trapped in a dumpster.
There is one thing I really do not like, however. Something that bothers me more than any other fear or anxiety I have. A thing that makes me worry about leaving my cave in the morning.
That thing is other things screaming at me.
High pitched, loud shouting sounds coming from any being and directed toward me makes my fur stand up straight and my back shiver. It fills my mind with unease and worry.
Do not scream at me.
The strange thing about my burdensome worry is that I have only been screamed at by a few things just a handful of times.
Once, a tree and the sky screamed at me practically at the same time. I was out in the woods, licking a rock, when the sky made a terrifying, violent screaming sound. Before I could even process how terrified I was, a tree right by me began to scream too. Then it fell over.
I ran as fast as I could to my cave and hid there until I napped.
I still do not know why the tree and the sky screamed at me in such a manner. Maybe they did not like the way I was licking that rock. Maybe they did not like me. I do not know, but it upsets me to no end.
A human screamed at me once, too.
I once found and explored a large, strange object near a dumpster I frequent. At first, I thought the object was just a large rock, but I could smell some kind of delicious food within the rock. I looked for an entrance or some kind of opening. After some searching, I found a way into the rock. It was not a rock, though. It was actually a cave. A well lit, strangely decorated cave. This cave was amazing. It had a tiny, personal sun inside of it. It also lacked rabbit skeletons and, instead, had various colors plastered all around the walls of the cave. This cave was fascinating.
And it had food!
There was another, much tinier, cave inside this large cave and it was filled with food! I started to rummage through the tiny cave. It was more bountiful than any dumpster I had ever encountered.
Then, the screaming began.
A human was hurling loud, high pitched screeching sounds at me and making very aggressive hand gestures at me.
I was more terrified than when the tree and the sky screamed at me.
Again, I ran.
I ran to my cave.
It did not have food or lovely colors or caves inside of caves, but it also did not have anything screaming at me.
I still worry about screaming. Though it so infrequently happens, I still have anxiety about it and feel like it could happen again at any moment. I sometimes try to think about why those things screamed at me. Why make awful sounds at me that just scare me? Did I deserve those sounds? I have no idea. Was I merely misinterpreting these sounds? Were they not even directed toward me or about me? I do not know.
But I do know the sounds. I do know how much I hate them. And I do know I do not want them to happen to me again.
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