Tag Archives: ants

You are a bear. Do not get ants in your nose.

You are a bear. Living in the forest provides you with an array of fascinating smells, sights, and food. You live for the eclectic forest experiences that you collect on a daily basis. Every tree stump, abandoned cave, riverbed, bushel, and strange human structure offers a unique, amazing sensory overload.

Among these fascinating structures: an anthill.

You have never licked, smelled, clawed at, or even thought too deeply of anthills. Before today, you had never even seen an anthill that was idle, without ants. This anthill currently has no ants rummaging around the top of it. It is idle.

Without ants. At least ones you can see.

It is a very nice anthill.

You choose to…


Ants probably crawled in my nose, and I do not know why I let that happen.

What have I done (3)

Anthills have very neat smells. I know this firsthand because I have smelled an anthill.

It smelled very lovely. The stinging aromatic bits of organized soil shot into my nostrils and, for just a brief, limited lovely piece of time, I experienced the many pleasing and eclectic smells that anthills have to offer. It was nice. I do not know if it was nice enough, however, to merit the much longer, seemingly unlimited horrible chunks of time that plagued my nose and mouth and face and other parts of me I cannot identify but can definitely feel.

The pain that irradiated throughout the face area of my body was only fueled by the anxiety and worry I felt about what was going inside of the face area of my body. What was going on in there? What or who was burning what part of me? Are there ants in me? Will they stay in me? Am I now a furry anthill for ants to live in forever and ever? Not relevant, but how many ants would it take to lift me like they lift small twigs together? Can they do that from within me? I hope not.

After a little bit of time (horribly long feeling time), I realized that the face area of my body was probably okay, and I most likely did not have ants in my face, making me a fuzzy, hair and skin based anthill. The feeling that settled in after I made this conclusion: embarrassment.

I did this. I made a choice to sniff an anthill. I knew what anthills were and what was inside them and the risks that came with smelling an anthill. I knew all of these things, and I still chose to sniff the anthill.

Why did I do that?

I am not sure what goes into decision making processes. Do I do things just because I am a bear and those things are just things that bears do? Do I do them because they need to be done and doing them keeps an important balance in the forest of which I am not aware? Do I just do things for the sake of doing things, and those things are determined by me and my motivations and thoughts?

I have no idea, and no matter how long I try to figure out which one of those answers makes the most sense, I am not able to figure it out. I do feel responsible for sniffing the anthill. I controlled my sniffing and everything else involved in making the decision, but beyond that, I am not sure why I did it and why I chose to do it knowing the consequences.

Regardless, I have to live with the aftermath of sniffing an anthill. The good and the bad of that action are mine to hold and understand, even I cannot do either very well.

Hopefully if there are ants in me, they at least like being there.

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 the book of faces.

Do trees care about me?

tree face (2)

I cannot tell whether or not trees care about me.

I have known about trees practically all of my life, and for as long as I have been aware of them, I have assumed they have had as much care and interest in me as I have had in them. That is why I tell trees my every woe and discontent. That is why I spend so much time staring at trees and waiting for them to speak back. That is why I have been so patient with trees even when they do things like almost fall on me or not support my weight on their limbs or provide shade for hostile creatures like the deer across the river.

I have given trees a lot of my time and energy, and I have always assumed that such time and energy were reciprocated. However, a recent event has made me question the trees’ dedication to me.

I was sitting under a tree, gathering shade and enjoying the scratchiness of its bark, when I noticed something interesting about the tree: it was a home. The tree had a large number of tiny ants climbing in and out of its base through small holes and between scales of bark. It was a fascinating sight, and I spent quite some time just staring at it.

Right in the middle of taking in the majesty of these ants, a limb from the tree fell onto my head.

That is okay. That has happened before. It will happen again. It did, though, make me think: why do the ants get to live here? Ants live in this tree and the tree is perfectly fine with it. Do I get to live in this tree? No. In fact, this tree attacks me when I use it for shade. And every time I have slept in the branches of it, I have fallen out of the tree, finding myself slamming into the forest floor, far below the tree.

During this thought, I considered the ants. Despite being able to live here, I am sure there are some things about this tree the ants do not get to enjoy. What if a limb falls on them? A limb that would leave a bump on my head would completely destroy them.

I do not think that tree (or any tree) hates me or the ants. I think trees might just be indifferent. They provide wonderful shade and lovely homes for some creatures, but they can also crush us and throw us from their tops, and they seem to do this indiscriminately.

I thought trees were there for me. For the ants. For the creatures of the forest. I do not think they are there for themselves, but they are definitely not here for any of us. Maybe trees just are. Trees are just here to be trees, whether that helps or hurts us is more up to us than it is to any tree.

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.

I took a nap on some ants.

ants (2)

I took a nap on some ants. I did not do so out of malice. In fact, it was never my intention to sleep on ants at all. Sometimes, when spontaneous naps strike you, the number of ideal places to lay your fuzzy head dwindle. A bear (me, for example) must work with what is around them. In this case, what seemed to be comfiest place on the forest floor was an ant hill.

The tiny mound looked soft and inviting. Little did I know, my carelessness would cause a kingdom to fall.

I woke to the sound of hundreds of tiny voices crying out in terror, pining over the destruction of their home. I sat up to survey the damage. It was severe and undeniably horrible.

What had I done?

A few surviving colonists clung to my nose. Some were frantically shouting in my face. A few were biting me. But the pain they inflicted upon my muzzle was nothing compared the remorse that filled my heart.

I begged for their forgiveness, but there was none to be had. The ants could not let this atrocity go unpunished. With tears welling in my eyes, I accepted whatever fate the small insects had planned for me. There was much deliberation over what course of action to take.

After what seemed like an eternity of silence, one of the ants simply said, “You must rebuild, bear. Make right your wrongs.”

I agreed. I told them it was only fair. Reconstruction would begin immediately (after I finished my nap, of course). Tiny cries of protest ringed in my ears. Some more nose biting occurred.

Realizing I would not get to complete the grievous act that led to my punishment in the first place, I set out into the forest to find supplies. I came back with the essentials for any reconstruction

  • Leaves
  • Six sticks
  • Napkins covered in some kind of spicy sauce
  • Three ribs from a rabbit skeleton I had been saving for a special occasion
  • Dirt in an empty aluminum can that I chewed on

I placed the tools on the ground before the displaced ants.

“What’s this?” asked one of them.

Certain these ants had never encountered such items (with the exception of dirt; they seemed to be very familiar with that), I explained what they were.

One of the ants suggested they rebuild the hill themselves. It was a bit insulting. Now, I will be the first to admit I have never built an ant hill, but I suspected their structure could not have been too complex. After all, it looked like a cone dirt pillow. I had made many piles of dirt into lovely pillows for nothing more than my own enjoyment. Surely this would be no different.

I was terribly wrong.

It turned out ants are very competent builders. There was so much beneath the surface I did not understand. After trying to shove the saucy napkins into an opening of the collapsed hill, the ants told me to stop. I had done enough.

I thanked them for the opportunity to try my hand at a new trade. They did not reply kindly. Instead, they demanded I leave behind the leaves, the can full of dirt, and one of the rabbit ribs (for some strange reason).

Feeling slightly accomplished (and slightly beaten down), I trotted back to my cave to resume my nap. As the blanket of sleep began to fall over me, I wondered if other complex things in the world seemed so simple at face value. I am a bear, and inside, I am still a bear (I think). Is Rob (the squirrel) a squirrel on the inside or is his squirrelness simply a facade?  Where does the outer layer of reality stop and why can our core beings be that outer layer? Why did the ants want my aluminum can?

I woke up a few hours later, hungry. As I exited my cave to do some foraging, I stepped on a wasp nest that had fallen from a tree.

Wasps are not as complex as ants or squirrels or bears. They like to sting things. That is about it.

I am a bear.

“Boris the Bear’s Circus Adventure Extravaganza of Suffer for Lonely, No” is the latest adventure you can read on helloiamabear.com! Please enjoy!