There are many dangers in the forest. Angry berries can poison your belly. Pointy, sharp sticks can pierce your fur and skin and paws and tongue. Rocks might fall on you from above. You can trip into the river and get mocked by a deer. You can get sad. The sky might fall from itself only to consume you and embarrass you. A very unfriendly squirrel might ask you a question you cannot answer.
You can get eaten.
Being eaten is the really scary one. There is no telling when or even if a thing might want to eat you or whether or not that thing will actually decide to really eat you. It is a constant threat in the lives of all things in the forest. I have seen many things get eaten. I have even eaten many things (sorry, things I have eaten). I once saw a cluster of ants devour a bird who was very still and not very bird-like in what must have been a brief moment of bird weakness. The ants plucked away every bit of the bird’s outsides, leaving tiny innards and bones behind. As if the devouring was not enough to damage the weakened bird, another larger bird dropped from the sky and plucked the remains of the shattered bird, chewing and swallowing the bits and bones as it flew away.
That bird was eaten. And I am sure that bird was not fond of being eaten.
The image of that helpless bird being torn apart and spread out through different creatures of the forest haunts me and fuels my constant worry of being eaten.
Nothing thwarts that worry. I live in a constant state of not wanting to be eaten, and I am sure that almost everything else in the forest feels the same. After all, who is not vulnerable to being eaten? This becomes even more of a difficult concept for me to wrestle with when I consider all the things I eat. Berries, twigs, fish, the moss on my cave, flies who get very close to my nose, and even plastic bags I find all live in a similar state of fear because of me and other creatures who want to eat them. They all, too, probably invoke that fear into the things they eat. The forest perpetuates a strange cycle of anxiety through everyone being food for someone else. It makes me wish that eating, despite how fulfilling and lovely the act is, was not necessary. I wish we could all be the things we are without having to eat other things that the things they are.
But that probably is not going to happen, so maybe acceptance of the inevitability of being eaten is the next best option. It is not that easy, though. I do not want to be eaten. Nobody does, and even though I know it will probably happen one day, I really hope is does not. Until it does, though, I will probably obsess over it. I will spend too much of my time worrying about the possibility of it happening and the potential gory details that might result from it. It is silly to fret over something that is so wildly out of your control, but there is no helping it. I will always want to not get eaten.
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. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on the book of faces.
Please look at this bear thing that @lirien made. It talks what Bear talks:
No worries…. You won’t get eaten. You are a bear.