When my belly is shouting at me to tend to it, using pain and anger to fuel my every decision, I cannot help but to eat nearly everything that comes into my sight. I have eaten some strange things, things that did not seem like food until I proved they were food. Crumpled leaves, fish skulls, anthills (including the ants sometimes), the wind (when it cooperates), things caught in the wind, basically everything inside any dumpster ever, sometimes the edges or corners of dumpsters, a bird once (more by accident and it was technically something that was caught in the wind (sorry, bird)). My mouth guides me on these occasions, and I become a furry ball of fury and teeth, claiming all chewable things as my meals.
Then I calm down.
It always happens.
I go off the edge while the hunger infects my very being, and then I fulfill whatever intangible thing causes me to be such a way, and then I calm down. Usually, when I calm down, I can look around, see the leftovers of the dumpster I was in, and move on with what happened. I ate some plastic bags filled with a dark liquid that smelled like burning? That is okay, I will move on. Oh, the tree I climb is missing a limb and my teeth hurt? That is okay, I will move on.
I was not able to move on recently.
I found a small cluster of acorns not very long ago. They were covered in leaves and pine needles and bits of dirt and my future shame and self-loathing. I smelled them from my cave. The wonderfully intoxicating aroma did not take long to pinpoint. With a small swipe of the claw, I was able to reveal the acorns. They were beautiful. They were delicious looking. They were delicious looking.
Without thinking, I hurled my jaws over the acorns and began to gobble them through my teeth and tongue and spit. In groups of two and three, I would go into the pile and further diminish the acorn reserve.
I ate them all.
When I calmed down, when I ceased to be the monster that I can so easily become, I realized that those acorns were not my acorns. That is probably true of most of the things I eat, of course. The dumpsters are not mine. The wind is not mine. The anthill is not mine. But something about this acorn collection, the way it was gathered so neatly and so beautifully, the way so many leaves and pine needles were so delicately placed and organized, it forced me to know they were not mine.
Someone was saving these acorns.
Someone was probably saving these acorns for when the hunger, the vicious, angry little beast that it can be, would infest their being. And when it happens to them, they will not have the comfort of an acorn reserve to soothe them.
Who knows what they might do.
I might have made a monster.
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@