An open letter to the deer across the river.


Dear deer,

I am a bear. In case you do not know which bear I am, I am the bear across the river who you sometimes glare at or spit towards. For as long as I have gone to the river (a favored place of mine for swimming, staring at my reflection, and trying not to drown when I catch fish), I have always seen you there. Sometimes you just drink the water from the river. Sometimes I am quite certain you are cursing me in some fashion. Sometimes you just stare at me. And I stare back.

There is a tense, ever present conflict between us that I am certain is rooted in a violent ancient history neither of us can truly comprehend. I sometimes feel like there has always been a deer and a bear staring at one another across that river, and the bear has always been a noble, beautiful beast, and the deer has always been an intolerable plague on the bear’s gentle sensibilities. I do not like admitting this, but I do not like you. You upset me. I can smell your rancid fur from across the river, and I would rather dip my snout into the muddy bank below than get any closer to your terrible stench. Also, your antlers are ridiculous.

I am sorry, and I take back the last comment (I am actually quite envious of your antlers because they are simply majestic). I do not want to add further damage to our already fragile relationship. My intentions are to do the opposite. I want to heal whatever ails between us. I want to learn to go to the river and not be disgusted by the horrible drool that drags from your filthy, surely disease ridden mouth.

I apologize again. That was uncalled for (though influenced by real experiences and feelings I have had).

I want to learn to accept you and everything you are, even the things about you that dig trenches of hate into the depths of my soul. I want to learn to share the river with you without you spitting at me and without me running from the horrible hacking sounds you make with your mouth and nose at the very same time.

We do not have to be friends, at least not at first. Perhaps never. But we do need to learn to accept one another. We need to learn from each other’s perspectives. I welcome you to my side of the river with open paws. Come drink with me one day. I promise I will not gag at your putrid smell or the way your strange teeth seem to be in a perpetual state of falling from your face.

And as for what you have done in the past to offend me, all is forgiven. As I am sure that you will forgive all I have done to offend you.

Thank you, deer, and I hope to see you soon,

A bear (across the river)

I am a bear.

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:

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 Facebook.


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