Calculating the ever-growing number of leaves that seem to fall from trees is an impossible task. Just when you think they have all fallen and that there could not be any more lingering up in the branches, more come.
I tried to consolidate the number of leaves in the direct vicinity of my cave one afternoon in hopes that it would make the opening of my cave more appealing to forest creatures who pass by. Rob (the squirrel) calls this “curb appeal.” He also suggest I trim some of the low branches of nearby trees, but I decided this would be cruel since the trees did nothing wrong and did not deserve such a punishment. Trees are pure entities who only have good will toward everything else in the forest (even the awful act of shedding leaves is actually beyond their control). If anyone or anything was to blame for the number of leaves on the ground, it was the wind…
I knew the wind was to blame after my initial leaf consolidation.
I had seven tidy piles collected that resulted a nice grassy clearing to lay in. The sun beamed through the bare branches to heat my newly cleared spot. It was refreshing to have the warmth beneath by belly meat. Before I could drift off to sleep, a rush of crunchy orange and red things pelted me in the face.
I sprung from the clearing to see that the piles I had collected were launching a full assault against me and their driving force was, beyond any doubt, the wind.
I felt betrayed. The wind was often the source of delicious smells. Why would it turn on me with such malice?
I wondered if I was hasty in blaming the wind. Maybe there were really just too many leaves.
There was only one way to find out. I would turn the leaves into something constructive. With the help of Rob (the squirrel) I skewered leaves on fallen twigs and used bits of twine from the dumpster to cinch them together. Eventually I had enough to begin forming the twigs into shapes. The shapes eventually formed images. From the leaf skewers I formed the shapes of many things in the forest: rabbits, squirrels, rocks, trees (ironically enough), me, and even a really big leaf.
From the chaos I created something wonderful. Rob (the squirrel) even lauded my work (even though he said that if the squirrel I made was him, it was a bit fatter than he’d like it to be).
With an overwhelming sense of pride in my work, I decided I had deserved a nap. I went into my cave and fell asleep the moment my head hit the dirt floor.
Hours later, I awoke to find my work ransacked by raccoons. They had destroyed all the shapes I had made (perhaps I should have thrown just one raccoon into the mix).
I wanted to be angry about what had occurred, but I wasn’t. Instead, I was struck with an epiphany.
Too many leaves was not the problem.
Vandal art critic raccoons were.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear.