Sudden and unexpected forest encounters are… well… actually quite expected. As a forest dweller, I have become accustomed to random encounters in the forest and all the confusing and sometimes upsetting effects of them. Even though they happen often, I still get taken aback by these encounters. Even when I happen upon a sort of creature I have seen time and time again, I still find myself jumping and running and losing my composure.
The last time I saw such a common creature, I had a realization. I found a raccoon. I was going through a wonderful dumpster when I decided to check under it. Sometimes I find interesting sauces and bugs under dumpsters that sit on blocks on mutilated trees, so I was excited to look around.
My snout was met with a tiny vicious paw.
The culprit was a tiny raccoon who was scared and angry and hissing. I had found the little beast. Not on purpose. It surprised me and I ran until my paws hurt and the moon took place of the sun. It was a difficult evening.
But as I thought about the situation, I thought about the raccoon. I had found the tiny creature, but had the raccoon found me? It had to have found me. What was it like for the raccoon? Did the raccoon hear my heavy steps? Did my curious snout startle the raccoon? That would explain its violent reaction. I felt awful. That experience had to have been as traumatizing for the raccoon as it had been for me.
I went back to the dumpster to check on the raccoon. The creature was gone, and I was sad about that. I wanted to ask the raccoon about our shared experience. I wanted to know more about the raccoon. I do not blame the raccoon for running, but I wish I had the opportunity to see me through raccoon eyes. Maybe I can be more aware of myself in the future, and maybe that will lead to some raccoon coming to check on my when I run off into the forest, terrified.
For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@