Tag Archives: bear blog

Things usually do not match what is in my mind.


I cannot see everything in the forest all the time. I have tried, but I am pretty much limited to just my field of vision, which is actually quite narrow when compared to the scope of the forest. Since I am limited in such a way, I usually rely on my thinking to conjure up images of things in the forest that are not near me. So, for example, I think about grasshoppers despite not really seeing grasshoppers very often. In my mind, they are green and a little brown and have strange, crooked legs and huge, shiny eyes. Usually, my mind accurately presents grasshoppers and their proportions and looks. When I see a grasshopper in the forest, it matches the grasshopper in mind.

That is a nice feeling. When my thinking is in line with the forest, everything is easier. It does not always work like that, though. Sometimes, my mind is horribly inaccurate when it comes to things in the forest, especially the feelings and difficult-to-describe moments in the forest.

I know how I feel in my mind when I think about the unpleasantness of the mocking sounds birds make when I slip in mud. I know that it makes me feel horrible and that their shrieking cries of contempt for me pierces the very bottom of my consciousness. It sits with me for days, and I can focus on very little else for quite some time. When I reimagine such an incident in my mind, it is the greatest tragedy to ever happen in the forest. It is the worst thing to ever happen to me. It is unbearable and horrible and I would never wish for it to happen again to me or any other creature.

It does happen again, though. It happens frequently, actually. In the moment, though, during the actual experience, it is not so tragic. It is still unpleasant, for sure. But it is not the end of the forest or the end of me. It is tolerable. Sure, the shrieking mocking that comes from the birds who witness it is no fun to endure, but in the moment, it is not so bad. I can live within that moment just fine. The strange thing, however, is that when I process that moment outside of itself, in my mind, isolated from the moment physically, I again think it is far worse than it really was.

And the cycle continues.

It works the other way around. Often great things that I adore in the forest let me down when I finally reach them. Berries are remembered with such intense fondness, but in reality, they are prickly and sometimes very sour. I still eat and enjoy them, but they do not live up to the status I have crafted in my mind.

Very few things ever do. So many things are exaggerated outside of themselves, and it is so incredibly difficult to truly realize that fact outside of my mind and reflective thinking. The real moment of experience is so often surprising, for better and for worse.

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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The angry ice.

I got caught in the cold yesterday. I had wandered away from my cave when it was not so cold, and then the cold crept up to me and grabbed me before I could get back to my warm domicile. At first, I thought it would be fine. I felt confident that my fuzzy fur would keep me shielded from the angry wind and the vicious rain. My paws felt stable as I plunged them into the mud, step by step, heading back to my cave for warmth.

Then the ice came.

The rain, which was already quite painful in the way it made little stabbing jolts through my fur, turned hard and sharp and pointy. The tiny shards pierced my eyes and nose and back fur. Each step toward my cave became an event for me, something that needed all of my attention and energy. I tried to focus on those steps and ignore the harsh pointy, cold shards of water who refused to hold back their hostile assault.

It was hard to see. The trees became blurry and eventually one. The cold was numbing. I thought, for a brief moment so that I could ignore all the ice and the beaten down feeling, about what the other creatures of the forest were doing to protect themselves from this. The birds were probably flying above it. The squirrels were probably hiding in holes in trees. Who knows how many insects and tiny fuzzy creatures were hiding under the mud. The trees just seemed to endure.

I kept trudging.

Then I saw the deer across the river. He was not across the river, though. He was just out in the forest. At first, I figured he had tracked me down, found my cave, and had probably created some horrible trap to ruin the finale of my challenging ice journey. But when I got a better look at him, he looked just as cold and lost and scared as any creature would be. He did not see me. His antlers fought through the wind and cold and wall of ice and anger.

Maybe it was a different deer, but it smelled like him. It looked like him. He eventually made a sudden turn, found a burst of energy, and galloped away from me. It was strange to see him so disarmed. He was just as susceptible to the harsh elements as I was. He could be scared and cold and alone.

When I got back to my cave, I checked it for traps. One of the rocks I had collected days before looked moved, but beyond that, my cave was just as I had left it. I curled up into a fuzzy ball and let my fur slowly dry. I had dreams about 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.

I am just upset because I lost a very good stick today.

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I try to keep my temperament even while I slide my paws around the forest floor. Generally, I am quite good at this. I am resilient, at least outwardly, to the sometimes incredibly harsh ways of the forest and its often times challenging inhabitants.

When squirrels make chuckling sounds I assume are directed at me, do I let out some angry roar as a response? No, of course not. Do I go back to my cave and steep myself into the sadness such chuckling causes me? Sure, but that is on my own time and in my own place. Nobody but me and the mood of my cave are affected by that kind behavior. When the deer across the river looks at me with his disgusting glances and makes ear piercing coughing sounds at me, do I let out an audible challenging response back? Well, sometimes, but that only affects the deer across the river and me. When birds wake me from a deep sleep, interrupting dreams of plastic bags filled with delicious sauces and dumpsters inside of clouds, do I shout at the birds? Of course not (except once and I am very sorry about that slip in character).

I try to stay composed. I really do. I try to stay composed, especially, around others. Today, though, it was not so easy. I was irritable. I was rash. I made growling sounds at a tree I accidentally bumped into, sounds I had never heard myself make. I bit down on log I found. Like really hard. With anger. I do not usually do that, but today was an exception.

Today was difficult.

I lost a stick this morning. This stick was no regular stick, though. It was a wonderful stick. I found it under a tree near my cave, sitting among some other forest debris. It would have gone unnoticed if I had not almost stepped on it. This stick was a perfect length. It had a lovely taste. It smelled like leaves. Good leaves. It fit into my mouth with such ease and without bits of its bark flaking off into the depths of my throat.

I carried it off. I had no idea what to do with it, so I just walked around with it. It felt like I was taking it on a parade throughout the forest, letting every creature who would look know how proud I was of my beautiful stick.

And then I set it down to take a drink of water from the river.

And it was gone. At first, obviously, I blamed the deer across the river, but he was nowhere in sight. I ran around, stomping my paws loudly as I cried out for my stick! Nothing. The stick never called back (as sticks never do). It was gone. Maybe some smart bird took it while I was drinking. Maybe the stick simply found a way to leave me. Maybe the forest floor took it and buried it someplace deep beneath the dirt.

I do not know.

But that is why I was upset today. That was why I growled and seemed angry. Hopefully, it did not disturb anybody too much. Hopefully, that stick is still out there somewhere.

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.

I might look like something else from up there.

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Birds.

There are so many of them in the forest. They are all kinds of colors and shapes and have all sorts of different wingspans and attitudes. Some birds sing delightfully beautiful melodies as the sun creeps to its shining perch. Other birds let out soothing coos as the moon’s light bathes the forest and the stars guide the rest of us. There are birds who build impressively sculpted nests to secure their cheerful young and birds who dip their slender beaks with incredible precision into chaotic chunks of mud to end up with a bounty of worms. So many birds are so interesting and delightful and kind and do not attack me.

Some birds, however, are very mean. Some birds (one in particular, it seems) attack me whenever he sees me. Some birds (still this one) have been known to hurl his disastrous claws and beak at and into my ears for no reason other than for what I assume he believes is a good time. Some birds (again, not all, in fact not most, in fact, just the one) take a perfectly good rabbit skeleton I found in a dumpster and probably did not even eat it and instead probably just threw it back into the dumpster maybe, I assume, but I do not know for sure.

Truthfully, there was no reason to bring up birds as an entire group of creatures. It is really just one bird that has troubled me. I try to see things from his perspective. Maybe I look like a worm from up high, which would explain why he gripped into my brow with such fury after a dive so fast I could hear his hideous feathers pierce the air around them. Maybe I deserve all of this bird aggression because of some slight I committed against this bird or another bird or to the forest in general. Maybe there is no rhyme or reason to this bird’s chaos, and I am just an unlucky target of his hate-fueled conquest for joy.

It is hard to convince myself of any of these things because this bird has been after me for so many consecutive unpleasant moments. I do not know what to do. The bird does not listen to reason or offerings of a trash bag I found filled with used napkins.

Maybe this bird just does not like me. Without meeting me or trying to understand me, this bird does not like me, and maybe there is nothing I can do about it. I just have to accept it. I have to accept that some things, this bird included, just do not care for me no matter what.

I do not know how to accept that, though. This is not the first thing to not like me (deer, snakes, etc.), but at least usually that dislike is based around some kind of past event or pretense. This bird does not have those things with me. I do not know this bird. It does not know me. But it has its opinion of me well formed already.

I guess all I can do about that is know it exists.

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.

Even more human questions, bear answers.

Hello, I am a bear. I asked some humans if they wanted to ask me, a bear, some things. Here are some of the questions I answered from said humans. If you are a human who asked me something and I did not get to your question, I am sorry. I am sure it was a lovely question, and maybe if you ask again I might answer it? I do not know. I am sorry. Anyway, here are some questions and the answers I had for them:

Q:

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A: I do not have a set goal of the number of things I plan on sniffing during a given day, but I do try to sniff as many things as possible. There are just so many lovely smells to enjoy, so I do not like to limit myself with a set number of sniffing occasions.

Q:

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A: Berries, sticks, acorns, fish, very small rocks, leaves, discarded sauce-covered napkins, various dumpster findings, marshmallows, and anything I can find in a dumpster that is not claimed by angry raccoons or opossums. Spaghetti is good, too, but it is hard to come by. I once visited a place filled with humans who were all eating spaghetti and they yelled at me until I left. I did not get to enjoy any spaghetti.

Q:

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A: Might I suggest donning the finest pile of leaves and plastic bags you can find? I am not sure this will be appropriate attire since I do not know what a prom is, but I think I look quite fashionable when I wear leaves and plastic bags.

Q:

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A: I prefer the kind of honey that does not leave me with several stings on my nose and in my mouth. Would that be Orange Blossom? Does that one involve fewer stings and less pain and embarrassment?

Q:

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A: I have, but clouds seem to be quite fickle. Just when I think I am making a great impression on one, it decides to float away or turn grey. I wish I knew the secret to making friends with them. They are very interesting. And they look soft.

Q:

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A: Hide.

Q:

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A: I do not know what a zombie or an apocalypse are, but if me being a bear will help you, then I would certainly consider joining you. Will there be opportunities for naps and/or extended naps? Will snacks be provided? I am a bear.

Q:

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A: My only advice for GingerDog is to accept the inevitable horror that comes with deer being involved in your life in any capacity. There is nothing you can do. No amount of reaching our or wishing ill or trying to reconcile or spitting will take care of it. Deer will be there. No matter what.

Q:

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A: All kinds. All kinds of squirrels are very mean. I do not know why. Though sometimes I wonder if they are not mean but, rather, they have particular dispositions and my particular disposition does not get along with their particular dispositions. Or they are mean?

Q:

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A: Rob (the squirrel)’s only purpose is to be Rob (the squirrel), I think. I am sure he does that all of the time.

Q: 

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A: In no particular order:

  • Green snake
  • Brown snake
  • Other green snake

Q:

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A: I think about being a bear. Sometimes I just stare? I am a bear.

Q:

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A: Trees are certainly great for scratching any part of my body that itches. But their usefulness extends far beyond this. Trees give me shade. They provide food. And they are wonderful listeners.

Qs: 
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A: I do not know how many bears make a family of bears, but I am a single bear because I am just one, single bear. I am a bear. Just the one bear. There are more bears, I think, probably, but I do not know them, and I am just one of them. 

Q:

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A: Thank you for noticing. I put quite a bit of work into keeping my ears in pristine condition. In order to keep their volume and roundness, I rub my ears in the dirt for several minutes and then use pinecones to fluff them up. Also, belly rubs are wonderful.

Q: 

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A: I do not think one is objectively better than the other. I like all food and food-related products, be them sweet, savory, sour, smelly, or otherwise. I am a bear.

Q: 

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A: While their plumage is quite stylish, birds do not make very good hats. Instead, I would suggest using sticks and leaves to accessorize your ensemble.

Q:

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A: I have a very storied relationship with birds. My interactions with them have ranged from pleasant (that time those baby birds took temporary residence in my belly fur) to awful (whenever those mean robins laugh at me when I trip and fall). It is hard to really pinpoint how I feel about birds as a whole. I form my opinion on them on a bird-by-bird basis. I am a bear.

Q:

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A: I certainly hope so. I have no desire to test this, however.

Q:

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A: There is no “deal” when it comes to snakes. They are horrible creatures and they frighten me to no end. Have you seen them run? They have no legs, but they can run. It takes me four legs to run. I do not know why they exist, and I am certain they hate me.

Q:

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A: I do not know what most of this questions means, but have you tried looking in dumpsters? I usually look for things in dumpsters because there are so many things in dumpsters. You could try big rocks, too. There are lots of things under big rocks.

Q:

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A: 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.

I would like to change colors, too, you know.

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The leaves are beginning to turn into lovely brown and orange colors. The crisp green tree ends fall and tumble to the ground, and by the time they land they have converted to a soothing orange, brown color. The tree tops slowly follow, and then one day it feels as though the entire forest has changed its wardrobe, adjusting its appearance to match the overall tone of the season (or maybe its appearance contributes to the overall mood of the season?). It really is nice, and when coupled with chill winds that come around this time, it easy to relax and enjoy living in the forest.

Generally I can hold on to that nice feeling for a few days before I begin to get a little upset with the orange and brown leaves and the nice winds and the pleasantness of everything. I try to ease my own bearself into feelings of this sort of forest dwelling, but my efforts are so quickly diminished by my own greedy wants.

I want to be orange.

Not all of the time, of course, but I do want to try to be orange. Or brown. Or any color really. I would like some kind of change. Any kind of change. But my fur stays the same jet black it usually is all the time.

Why?

Why do I not get to be orange?

I like my black fur, please understand. I love the way it looks when my fuzziness is particularly active, and I love the way it looks when there is water soaked into it, and I love the way it gets a nice sort of shine when I roll around in the dirt long enough. I do, really I do, love my fur. But why is that the only fur I get to have? So many things in the forest get to have different colors and hues and other subtle variations of themselves, but I do not. I never get to be any bear but the bear I am, and sometimes I even doubt that I really get to be that bear, too (which is another, totally different subject).

I tried to fix the ordeal recently by eating a very large collection of leaves I had accumulated over the weeks. They were orange and green and brown and grey and broken and whole and everything a leaf really could be, the many lovely variations of which leaves are capable.

I ate them all.

I do not know why, but I thought perhaps if I ate the leaves, I could mimic their colorations. I was very wrong. I did not turn orange. I did not turn any color. My tummy began to hurt. Then the leaves came back up. And they had turned into a different color I had never seen before. And it was not a nice color.

I suppose I cannot change colors, but I can change the color of leaves (kind of). Life in the forest can be very odd.

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.

I smashed the scary pumpkins because they probably had ghosts in them.

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I like to stroll through the forest when the winds begin to cause cool breezes and the temperature becomes a nice kind of chill. It is a relaxing way to spend time in the forest, and such temperature and winds seem to only exist briefly between the anger of the sun and stunning cold of the snow. It is not here for long, so I like to enjoy it as much as I can. Sometimes my strolls go a bit far, however. It is easy to lose track where I am and how long I have been spending to get there. Recently, the stroll led to that strange part of the forest where the long, flat black rocks start to appear, cushioned by many human caves and far less trees. It is a strange place, and I try not to go there often (mostly because of all the yelling), but just today, I found myself happily traversing the strange area.

I should have run away when I first saw the pumpkin. I know that now, but something about its smell and its orangeness made me want to see it closer. There were so many of them around this part of the forest, too. I thought it was strange, and I thought it was stranger that all of these pumpkins had been mutilated. Holes had been cut into their thick skin (imagine what kind beast it would take to do that with such precision and power!). The first one I saw was very close to a human cave. I approached it, smelled it, and then tried to see what was inside of it (obviously). I pushed my paw through the holes that were already there, and, strangely enough, it was completely empty. There was nothing inside. I chewed on the thick skin of the pumpkin as I pondered the possibility. Why was this pumpkin empty? Were they always so empty? I had definitely seen pumpkins that were not empty before (mostly in dumpsters), so why was there nothing in this one?

I thought I should go see what other pumpkins nearby were like. There were so many to choose from.

The next one was not empty. I could see it from far away as I stood still on the long, flat black rock, staring at the strange glow coming from the pumpkin. I crept towards it. I had to know why it was glowing. Was there a tiny sun inside? It looked like the same color from a distance. Was the pumpkin angry? That was certainly possible.

When I got a paw’s length away, I batted at the pumpkin. I was cautious. Then, I decided to look through one of the strange holes it had, where the light was shining from.

Inside was a tiny ball of light.

It was bright.

It was scary.

I growled at it as I hurled my paw at it. Clearly, this pumpkin had some kind of pumpkin ghost sitting inside of it, and it was definitely trying to scare me. I smashed the pumpkin with my paws until a human ran out of its cave, yelling at me and swatting a long stick with pine straws on it at me. I tried to tell the human that I was just saving it and its cave from a pumpkin ghost, but the human refused to hear my pleas. It continued to swat at me until I left.

I ran back to my cave. I knew I had done the right thing, even if who it was for could not appreciate 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 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.