Author Archives: A bear

The human lake.


Sometimes I feel like I really know the forest. I know its trees. I know its sounds. I know its soft grass and the insanity of its squirrels. I know where the deer goes and I know his despicable face. In a comforting way, I know the forest.

But when that feeling settles in for too long, I get a little worried. Do I know the forest too well? Have I really exhausted all of its awe-inspiring majesty? Perhaps the comfort is too great, and I need new and interesting things to find and experience in the forest.

And then I found a human lake.

And I remember that the comfort in familiarity is usually much better than the chaos of new experiences.

The human lake was near a human cave. I was following the aroma of what I thought must have been a lovely dumpster when I found the human cave. It was big, much bigger than my cave. It had a wall of mutilated trees surrounding where its dumpster smells were coming from. With some clumsy pawing about, I managed to climb over the wall and closer to the smell.

The smell turned out to be coming from a very tiny dumpster. It smelled great but was largely empty. After a few hopeless licks of the dumpster, I turned my snout toward the next interesting smell: a strange body of water. My first thought was of how lucky this human was to have a perfectly lovely body of water right by their cave. I had to walk past many trees and rocks to get to the river I frequented, and the convenience of nearby water would be a luxury.

I decided to see what this human’s cave adjacent water was like. I made a mistake in my approach to the water, though. I really thought it was normal, safe water, so I hurled my entire body into the it at once. Once my eyes opened up, they began to burn. The taste was strange and stung my tongue. Everything about this water was bad and upsetting.

I desperately swam out. I thought I was safe, but then the yelling started. There were several humans standing by the water, shouting and throwing things at me. I tried to explain myself and why I was there. I tried to ask them why they would do what they were doing. The shouts kept coming. The things kept being hurled.

I quickly ran to the wall of mutilated trees and, instead of climbing up it, I accidentally broke it and ran through it. Its sharp splinters cut me, but I was far too scared of the shouting and things being hurled at me to pay attention to those scratches in the moment. I ran until I was safe in my cave. My familiar, warm cave. I napped.

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: justasinglebear@gmail.com

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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I think I have been here before.


Even though I spend all of my time in the forest, I feel like I have not explored very much of it. Sometimes I will walk for a long time in one direction, hoping to feel the excitement that comes with treading unexplored territory, but I usually get too scared or intimidated by the immense size of the forest to go very far in any one direction. I end up back in my cave, enjoying its comfortable and familiar damp pointy walls.

In an attempt to challenge myself and explore more of the forest, I recently tried fighting the urge to turn back at the sight of the unfamiliar during one of my brief forest excursions. I walked away from my cave in a direction that was not toward the river or my favorite tree or the very interesting looking rock I like so much. I went in a direction that was unfamiliar, and I just walked.

And I kept walking.

Aimless but attentive, taking in the sights and the sounds of the forest as I went.

The more attention I gave to those sights and sounds, the more I began to feel like everything I was experiencing was very familiar. I walked until the sun was almost ready to retire into the trees past my sight, and I did not feel like I had seen anything new. It was all very lovely, for sure. I do adore the sights and sounds of the forest, no matter how frequently I experience them, but everything felt more familiar than I had anticipated. Usually that far into a walk, I would be ready to run in whatever direction I had come from, but where I went felt safe and known. Especially when I got to a cave. It was a nice cave. It was damp and rocky and comfortable. It had a delicious and soft bed of moss in one corner. Another corner had a fine collection of rabbit skeletons. There were some leaves spread about. It was wonderful. It was familiar.

Was it my cave? It felt like my cave. It smelled and tasted like my cave. I had walked away from my cave, though, so I was confused. What was I supposed to do? I did what came naturally to me: I slept in the cave. When I woke, it still felt like my cave. When I went outside of the cave, it felt like the outside of my cave.

Either I had just walked back to my cave by accident or I had stumbled upon an exact replica of everything I knew. I was not sure which was true, so I licked the pile of moss in the corner and napped a little longer. It felt right, and, really, either way, I felt like I was at home.

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: justasinglebear@gmail.com

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.

A list of things that I at first thought were against me but were not.


Here is a list of things that I at first thought were against me but were not:

  • Wind (I think it is actually against everyone, not just me)
  • Flying leaves (further investigation led me to realize that this is just the wind and, again, the wind is really after everyone)
  • Flying debris (see: wind, flying leaves)
  • Birds (I often interpret their whistles and fast flying as a kind of mocking, but I think that is just how they are: fast flying whistlers)
  • The sun (I do not think it is personal)
  • Squirrels (up for debate, however)
  • Humans (they might be shouting at me because they are excited to see me, not because they hate me?)
  • The rabbit skeleton I accidentally swallowed (this was my fault, rabbit skeleton)
  • Ants (those bites could just be aggressive hugs, there is no way to tell)
  • The deer across the river (wait)
  • No, not the deer across the river (but I really should at least try…)
  • Okay, the deer across the river (but then again, those horrible hacking sounds he emits from his tiny mouthed face are so awful and filled with so much negativity and hatred)
  • Okay, no, not the deer across the river (but what has he really done to me?)
  • Fine, the deer across the river (no, wait, he knows what he did)
  • Never mind, scratch the deer across the river (wait, wait, just do it, what harm could come out of forgiving that vile beast and moving on with my life?)
  • The deer across the river (…)
  • Clouds (I assume they are moving that quickly because they have somewhere important to go and not because they want to spite me)
  • My cave, for its occasional lack of heat (it is not your fault, cave)
  • My claws (I am sure they did not mean to scratch me to intensely that one time I had an itch on my belly)
  • Okay, I just cannot do this, I cannot add the deer across the river to this list, it just is not fair, he does not deserve further consideration or forgiveness, he deserves to stay at the river his disgusting hooves and malformed antlers, I simply cannot add the deer across the river to this list
  • But I should…
  • Fine…
  • The deer 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: justasinglebear@gmail.com

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.

Many things go.

In the forest, I am just one, single thing going among many other going things. My going is mostly me walking throughout the forest, brushing up against trees and occasionally swimming in the river, usually looking for food. I know my going.

I do not know the going of others, though, and it makes living in the forest a little intimidating. So many things go. Wind goes around the forest, carrying leaves and debris with it, making those things go as well. Squirrels go to and from wherever it is squirrels go (maybe everywhere given how quickly they go). The water in the river goes, too. I do not know where it goes, but I know it goes. Even trees go in their own way. They sway and drop leaves and twigs and go through time, too, and it is easy to feel yourself go through time when you rest motionlessly in a single spot for an extended period of time (I know from my experiences trying to mimic trees with little success (how do they do it so well?)).

All the going is overwhelming. I know I contribute to it, but that does not make thinking about it any less daunting. Rarely does the going of something else really hinder my own going, but the mere thought of a going collision is scary. It makes everything in the forest feel fast and fragile, a strange  delicate balance that could tip over and ruin all going for everyone in an instant.

I usually try not to think about it. I usually try to just mind my own going and hope everything else in the forest does the same, but the thought usually creeps into my mind as I go about my going, and forces me to think of what could happen if goings collided. If goings were interrupted. If goings were stopped.

When it gets too bad, I stop going. I shutdown my forward bearness both physically and mentally and I try to stop going. I try to just be a bear, a non-going bear. It is my way of trying to be the me I am where I am. It is not always easy.

But it can lead to naps.

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: justasinglebear@gmail.com

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.

Maybe I should be more mindful of my surroundings.


Relative to most forest creatures, I am quite large. I know this when I think about it. The problem, however, is that I rarely think about my largeness. It is easy to forgot about my largeness when I am merely traversing the forest, trying to be a bear. Maybe I just need more practice thinking about two things at one time (bearness and largeness). Or, maybe I should start focusing more on the largeness part.

It does not affect everything I do in the forest. My largeness is usually not a problem. I fit through most bushes and generally I do not need to scrape up against a tree unless I want to scratch an itch. I still float, too. When I get into the river, I spread out my largeness and I float about. It is nice until the deer across the river inevitably hisses at me with its horrible face, but even that, I believe, is not caused my largeness.

My largeness has caused pain and suffering to those around it, though. The bench I found among a lightly treed part of the forest was one such victim. I sat on it, enjoying my time on it as my fur baked in the sun. It was ever so comfortable and relaxing until I heard a thundering crack beneath me. I looked around, trying to understand where the sound came from, and then, it happened again. I fell through the bench and onto the dirt. With some dramatic thrashing, howling, and wriggling I am not proud of, I managed to escape the corpse of the bench, but the bench was gone. Destroyed. No longer a bench. I felt awful for what I had done. I tried to apologize to the bench, but I was unable to, the guilt holding back my thoughts and forcing me to scurry into the forest where my largeness got in the way again as I stepped on an anthill by total accident.

Had I murdered again? Had I turned into such a terrible beast, unable to care or empathize with those who were subjected to my largeness? Before I could answer any of these questions, the biting began.

I ran some more, bumping into trees and smashing branches and stepping on who knows what. By the time I was back in my cave, I promised myself I would try to control my largeness. When I woke from the nap that followed that event, I realized there was little I could do about my largeness. I suppose being large is just part of being a bear. I also realized, though, that I needed to at least be more mindful of my largeness. I had a duty, as a largeness having creature, to ensure my largeness did not negatively hurt others.

I also do not like ant bites…

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: justasinglebear@gmail.com

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.

Am I supposed to get better at being a bear?


I have no way to tell how good of a bear I am. I do not interact with other bears. I do not receive performance reviews from the forest on a regular basis. No other creature stops to tell me if I am doing being a bear particularly well or terribly (they do stop to screech at me, however, but I am not sure if that counts as a substantial review of my bear performance).

Since I have no way to determine if I am good at being a bear, I really have no way to determine if I should have progressed in my bearness. I have never gotten any kind of clue or indication that I should be getting better at being a bear over some period of time. Should I be a better bear each day? Each year? Is my progress meant to be incremental or something that should be obvious and very easily noticeable?

Or, maybe, I am not supposed to become a better bear. There is a chance that my bearness is not meant to grow. Maybe I am a bear, and I am supposed to be just the bear I am. Not a better one. Not a worse one. Just one, single bear that I already am until I am not a bear anymore.

I do not like that, though.

I feel like there are things about being a bear that I have improved upon. Take, for example, my ability to walk on my hind-legs. For a very long time, I was quite terrible at walking on my hind-legs. I could hurl my upper body toward the sky for only a brief moment before I came tumbling down. Now, I can balance on my hind-legs long enough to reach a branch I need or to get a better look at a bird’s nest. It took time and practice, but eventually I got pretty good at doing it.

I suppose my hind-leg-walking-ability forces me to think about what bearness really is to begin with. Is that something that a bear does? Is it something a bear needs to be good at? Does it really even matter? I like doing it, so I suppose it matters to me, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily matters to being a bear, but it does matter to me, so it does matter to my meness, and I am a bear. The logic gets circular and confusing quickly, but either way, I like walking on my hind-legs, and getting better at it makes me feel like a better me.

I suppose that is all that matters for now. For me. A bear.

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: justasinglebear@gmail.com

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.

An abbreviated list of things that frightened me today.


Here is a list of the things that frightened me today:

  • A snake I saw
  • A stick I saw that looked like the snake I saw
  • A different snake I saw
  • A stick I saw that looked like and actually was the second, different snake I saw
  • I might have just seen sticks instead of snakes today
  • Some very fast clouds (where are you going, clouds? Should I follow?)
  • An angry fish (it looked very angry at least)
  • Some sounds
  • My own shadow (twice, at least)
  • A feeling of helplessness as I watched an abandoned bird nest fall out of a tree and land onto a sharp rock, crashing outward into pieces of some creature’s forgotten memories of warmth and security
  • A new bug
  • Belly pains (until I ate the new bug (sorry, new bug))
  • A falsely perceived lack of fuzziness of my fur (do not worry, further investigation of my fuzziness led to the realization that I am still very, extremely even, fuzzy)
  • The possibility of trees having teeth (could you imagine?)
  • More sounds
  • The dumpster that almost trapped me (at first I was okay with the idea because it would not be so horrible to be trapped in a dumpster, forced to live out your days in its beautiful aroma, but then I realized there were three raccoons in the dumpster with me and there was just too much hissing for me to take a decent nap so I wanted to get out as soon as I could)
  • Some hissing raccoons
  • The idea that so many things frighten me (perhaps I should try to be less frightened of these things so I do not always feel so overwhelmed, but could it really be so simple?)
  • More snakes (just thinking about them)
  • The sun’s glare at one point (I was not able to see for a brief moment, which really upset and scared me)
  • So many sounds
  • A feeling that made me believe that I did not know where I was supposed to be at a given moment so I wandered around for awhile until the feeling was gone because it was very unpleasant
  • An acorn that got stuck in between my toes
  • The sky (again)

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: justasinglebear@gmail.com

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.