I can fit so many leaves in my mouth, and when I see my full-faced reflection on the surface of the river, I feel very proud of myself.
Of course, the deer across the river usually spots me doing this and always tells me that fitting any number of leaves in my mouth is a useless feat fit for those who are more interested in being dead in the forest than being alive. His aggressive and blunt tone aside, the deer has a valid point: what was the purpose of being about to store so many leaves in my mouth at one time?
How is this a useful skill?
I can never think of a way that this skill (which I hesitate to even call it now) would benefit me while I live in the forest.
It does not feed me.
It does not keep me warm.
It does not make me safe.
Fitting many leaves in my mouth is fun certainly, but it seems so useless no matter how much time I spend trying to rationalize its presence in my life.
But I like it.
I like putting leaves in my mouth, and I like putting so many leaves in my mouth that some fall out and I have to nip at them to get them back in even though I know that they would just fall out again.
I like that.
I like everything about putting many leaves in my mouth. I like a lot of things that do not feed me, make me warm, or make me safe. I like rolling through dirt and smelling myself afterward, I like staring at the sky and trying to figure out why it never comes to visit me even though I feel like I am always visiting it by staring at it (but maybe it is staring at me and feels the same?), I like trying to figure out the moon even though I do not think it is possible to figure out the moon, I like knowing how many pinecones there are even though I always lose count, I like knowing what moss smells like, and I like thinking about all of these things that are considered useless by the deer (and probably others) in the scope of my life in the forest.
Thinking about these things makes me happy just like doing these things makes me happy. And when I am happy, I do not worry about feeling hungry, warm, or safe. Feeling happy is enough.
I wonder how many pinecones I can fit in my mouth…
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: justasinglebear@