Tag Archives: animals

My smells: are they for everyone or just me?

the stink (2)

I spent quite some time yesterday with my snout buried inside the crevices of fur between my claws. Past coming up for the occasional gulp of fresh air, I kept my face in the center of the smell consistently for a long time.

I liked it.

The smell, that is. I really liked it. The fur that is nestled there relaxes me and makes me feel good about myself, my fur, and my claws.

Rob (the squirrel), however, disagreed. Rob (the squirrel) approached me while I was enjoying the smells emitting from my feet, and he was quickly disturbed by the image. He aggressively asked me what I was doing and why I was doing it. I explained, and he asked if he could have a whiff as well. I did not see the harm in sharing such an intoxicating fragrance, so I let him smell the fur between my claws.

His eyes watered.

His face went sour.

He ran up a tree, nearly slamming his head into it as he recklessly escaped the odor of my feet.

I was hurt, honestly. Why did he find my foot smells so repulsive when I found them so delightful. I continued to smell my claw-fur for awhile before I decided to investigate why my smells might have upset Rob (the squirrel).

I had to question whether or not my nose was a good judge of a smell’s character. Just because I liked the smell of something, did that mean it was a universally beloved smell? Did that smell have any kind of popular opinion behind it? Did every creature experience smell in a unique manner?

I had to survey.

I first asked a raccoon in a dumpster I frequent if the fur between my claws smelled good. He was hesitant to try sniffing them, and, in the end, wound up biting them before running away. This was useful data for other questions I have about the forest (example: do raccoons like me?), but it did little in helping me understand my smell dilemma.

I decided to ask a longtime foe of mine for his opinion. I figured if the deer across the river had even the slightest interest in my smells, then those smells must be generally acceptable to all creatures who are not terrible, disgusting beasts and, therefore, Rob (the squirrel) was merely an odd exception.

The deer across the river told me my smells are as pointless as bears are. I then spent some time staring at him while sniffing the fur between my claws simply to spite him.

Finally, I tried testing my bear aromas on some mice who had slept under my belly that morning. Surely they found my belly fur smells enjoyable, so they must have something to say on the subject. They told me they were too consumed by the warmth of my belly fur to notice its smell. I offered them a chance to smell my  belly again just to get their opinions, but they slowly backed away from me in unison upon the suggestion.

I like my smells.

I know they might not be for everyone in the forest, but I do enjoy them. Perhaps we all have different ways of smelling, though, which should make me feel like I do not need the approval for my smells that I so desperately seek. But I still feel the need for that approval.

I hope you like my smells.

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

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I wanted something yet I was not sure exactly what.

bear wants (2)

The feeling was weird but familiar. I wanted something particular, but I could not quite put my paw onto what that particular thing actually was. It was intriguing to consider, at first. Going through the desires I might normally have and evaluating if they met my current needs. Then it became annoying. The vague feeling would not leave and could not be satiated.

I decided to just go about my daily routine of various bear related activities and thoughts. I started the day off with a nap (as I usually do). Though I woke up feeling refreshed, I still have an itch to scratch, and the indescribable desire was still keeping my mind wandering.

I then went to the river to drink and avoid eye contact with the deer who also drinks there. Luckily, the deer was not there that day, so I could drink in peace. I was, again, refreshed yet still had a wanting feeling for something I did not have.

Leaves. I love to chew on wads of leaves that I gather around my cave. I did just that. I collected several leaves and placed them into my mouth and chewed and chewed and chewed and it was lovely and delicious.

But it was not what I wanted.

I was becoming increasingly frustrated with my inability to fulfill my phantom desire, and I went through a gauntlet of trials involving a great number of activities and such that I normally enjoyed doing. I napped in a dumpster. I stared at the weird raccoon who sleeps in the pizza boxes at the dumpster. I listened to Rob (the squirrel) and questioned his strange tales/advice as I normally do (this time he asked me if I had ever daringly run under the tires of a speeding car and I asked him exactly what a car was and he screeched and hurled an acorn at my nose, as he tends to do). I even licked my favorite clump of moss that rests in one of the many dark nooks of my cave. I also took two more naps. All of these things were lovely, but I still had the weird, familiar but intangible feeling of wanting something I had not recently had/done yet wanted to have/do without knowing what had to be had/done.

The end of the day had come, and the irritating, irrational feeling was still lingering. It made me exhausted. I slumped down to the nest of moss and leaves and rabbit skeletons that made up my cave floor and slept.

The next day, the feeling was gone. Perhaps I had slept it off. Perhaps I had only imagined it. Perhaps I just wanted to get through another day, and doing so was enough to satisfy the urge. I do not know, but it was good to feel like I overcame it.

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 read a list by Bear that details how to approach opossums over at The Higgs Weldon.

Here are 100 tips on how to stay safe in the forest.

the deer

  1. Wrap yourself in many leaves
  2. Avoid fast, large, metal things
  3. Know where clumps of soothing moss are
  4. Befriend many rocks
  5. Never follow or emulate any of Rob (the Squirrel)’s advice, anecdotes, rants, suggestions, dares, doomsday scenarios, aggressive slurs, etc.
  6. Drink lots of water
  7. But not too much water
  8. Do not drown
  9. Never initiate conflict with a tree
  10. Respect fish and their space (they will bite)
  11. Bite fish carefully (they have sharp insides)
  12. Remember: most sticks are sharp
  13. So are rabbit skeletons
  14. Do not take more than you deserve (the forest has a way of making sure it is always balanced and how it does so is not always pleasant)
  15. Do not get tangled up in spools of fishing line, shredded tents, garbage bags, hammocks, etc.
  16. Beware of loud sounds as they often belong to large things (refer to tip 2)
  17. Do not die
  18. Do not fall over
  19. Do not stand on your head for more than a few seconds
  20. Learn Spanish
  21. Claws and eyes do not mix; keep them separated
  22. Do not jump out of trees
  23. Not all dirt is soft
  24. Eat when you are hungry
  25. Do not threaten lightning
  26. Make peace with your enemies
  27. But not with the deer across the river
  28. Be wary of the deer across the river
  29. Do not befriend the deer across the river
  30. Smite the deer across the river
  31. Find out where the deer across the river lives
  32. Exact revenge against the deer across the river
  33. Make the deer across the river atone for his sins
  34. Do not feel bad about what happens to the deer across the river; he deserves this
  35. …He deserves all of this…
  36. Remain silent as often as possible
  37. Bees are not food
  38. Snakes are not sticks; do not try to scratch your back with them
  39. Snakes are also not rabbits; they do not wish to be petted
  40. Do not pet too many rabbits (this can create rival factions within the rabbit community that can lead to a lot of animosity toward you; remember, if you cannot pet them all, do not pet most of them and leave because you want to take a nap)
  41. Some leaves can make you itchy; do not touch them
  42. Always bring a towel, or fur and sticks stitched together in a rectangular shape
  43. Never exact revenge
  44. Unless you are exacting revenge against the deer across the river
  45. Carefully exact your revenge against the deer across the river
  46. Wait
  47. Maybe this is not right
  48. Maybe you should forgive the deer across the river
  49. No
  50. Never forgive the deer across the river
  51. Make sure your toes get wet once in awhile
  52. What did the deer across the river ever do to you?
  53. It must have been awful
  54. It made you angry and spiteful for such a long time
  55. Do not chew on rocks for too long
  56. But did the deer do something so unforgivable that you feel revenge is justified?
  57. Maybe
  58. Be rational
  59. Of course not
  60. Avoid ticks when possible
  61. Regard tip 26 once more
  62. Also regard rule 40 once more because it is important enough to repeat
  63. Try to understand the deer across the river
  64. Understand that shadows do not stay in the same place for long so move with them when necessary
  65. The deer across the river is another forest creature just like you, it is vulnerable to the elements just like you, it feels and has friends and eats berries just like you, it has horns, which is weird and a little unsettling, but you cannot let those pointy sticks on his narrow head give you the impression that he is not a capable and decent animal, deserving of love and compassion and, most importantly, forgiveness
  66. Forgive the deer across the river
  67. He spat at you when you tried to forgive him?
  68. Why?
  69. Why do that, deer?
  70. Eat grass whenever possible (it is good for the stomach and tastes like lovely dirt)
  71. Deer, how could you do this? How could you slap the paws of forgiveness?
  72. Stop the cycle of violence and misunderstanding that runs rampant throughout the forest
  73. Trust lizards
  74. Accept the negative response and be okay with your inability to control the deer across the river
  75. Try to find a new river so you can avoid the deer across the river
  76. Name trees when you can, but also be respectful of trees who already have names (sorry about the misunderstanding, Stephen)
  77. There is no new river
  78. That was the only river
  79. The deer is still there, across the river
  80. Do not make eye contact with the deer across the river
  81. Just drink your water and go
  82. This is not so bad
  83. It is actually peaceful
  84. The deer keeps making terrible hacking sounds, but they do not seem to be directed at you for once
  85. Enjoy this time
  86. It might not last forever
  87. He is looking at you
  88. Staring
  89. Stop it
  90. Please, deer
  91. Please
  92. Try to remember where you bury important things since finding them again can be very difficult
  93. Stare back
  94. Show some teeth?
  95. Yeah, show the teeth
  96. No, wait, do not threaten the deer across the river
  97. You must learn to live with this awful creature who makes awful hacking sounds with its silly narrow head
  98. Forgive the deer across the river, just do it
  99. Live peacefully with the deer
  100. Keep your teeth clean by chewing on loose sticks you find

Thank you for reading my 100 tips on how to stay safe in the forest.

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?