Tag Archives: bear blogs

Why there are definitely ghosts in the forest and why you should be afraid of them and why I do not like them.

Ghosts (2)

Why there are definitely ghosts in the forest:

The forest is a majestic and magical place full of wonder and incredible creatures, things, and places. I have lived in the forest for as long as I can remember, and even I am not to able explain every little nook, cranny, and strange occurrence that I encounter. For every amazing aspect of the forest that needs no explanation and only needs to be experienced, there are several aspects that are terrifying and mysterious in the most anxiety inducing manner possible.

That is why there are ghosts. The forest is amazing, of course, but all that amazement comes with a great degree of mystery. With so much mystery, there is no room for ever even questioning the existence of ghosts. Ghost definitely live in the forest, and they definitely come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and species.

Many things can be ghosts, including but not limited to:

  • Deer (especially deer)
  • Rocks
  • Trees
  • Branches
  • Lizards
  • Owls
  • Anything underground
  • Possibly dirt
  • The moon, probably
  • Ghosts (ghosts of ghosts)

Conversely, many things cannot be ghosts:

  • Bears (probably)
  • Insects
  • Wait, maybe insects can be ghosts
  • Oh no, imagine the ghost ants!

Why you should be afraid of them:

The mere possibility of ghost ants should be enough for you to never want to engage with any type of ghost ever. There are other reasons, though. Ghosts will follow you for a very long time and make many scary sounds that you will not be able to identify so you will simply blame ghosts. They seem to enjoy this kind of behavior. It is a bit unfortunate and sad that most ghosts have nothing better to do but to haunt unsuspecting forest dwellers, but that is just part of being a ghost in the forest, I suppose.

Ghosts can also make you feel bad about yourself because you are not a ghost and you probably will not know if you could ever be a ghost (unless you are one of the things mentioned above that can definitely be a ghost and you have read this or other literature on the subject). Though ghosts are scary, who would not like to at least experience being a ghost in the forest? Being possibly barred from that experience while also being haunted by it is strange and quite terrible.

Why I do not like them:

I do not like ghosts because I cannot find definite evidence they actually exist like I can other things like rocks and trees and the sky. I know they exist, but, at the same time, I really do not know they exist, and that is something I find very maddening.

I am still researching the existence of ghosts in the forest, but it truly is a difficult assignment to take on given how scary of an assignment it is. I hope to one day find the evidence I need to reconcile with forest ghosts. Or, at the very least, I hope the raccoon ghost that has definitely probably been following me for the last few weeks stops and finds something better to do.

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

I worry about what I look like when I run.

Bear running (2)

I run when I need to run. It has its uses, running that is. For instance, just the other day I saw a tree with no leaves on its branches and its twiggy limbs were smacking up against another tree that did have leaves, ripping the leaves from the leaved tree. I thought I saw a tree murder in progress and, though I am ashamed to admit it, I felt the need to run as fast as I could. I was lost in the forest all night after running aimlessly for so long, but at least I got away from the tree murder.

I also sometimes run when I have bursts of energy for no apparent reason. It feels good to stretch out my legs and feel the wind brush through my fur. And even though I feel tired when I am done, I feel quite refreshed shortly after running.

I actually like to run.

But I do not like doing it in front other creatures…

I was recently running through the forest after thinking an interesting looking rock I found was actually a ghost when I suddenly heard a chuckling. I looked toward the sound to find several squirrels (oddly none of them Rob (the squirrel)) staring at me and laughing hysterically. I stopped mid-gallop and stared back. They were heckling me. At least five squirrels. All heckling me. One even did an impression of me by placing its back end high into the air and shuffling its front legs frantically. The other squirrels laughed at the impression. One laughed so hard it fell out of the tree.

I did not stay much longer to see the crowd further analyze my running. I trudged (at a very slow pace) back to my cave to lick my wounds.

The heckles haunted my dreams that night. I had a dream about one large squirrel poking me with a stick as I tried to run, but when I looked down, I had no legs. No paws. No way to run. Instead, I rolled through the forest as the squirrel kept poking and stabbing me.

I woke up growling and shuffling my feet… frantically.

Now I am consistently worried about how I look as I run through the forest. I even find myself not running from time to time, even when I really want to. What if the squirrels are watching? What if other creatures are watching? What if I really do look silly as I run?

I do not like running as much now. I want to run. I want to like to run. But the constant fear of not running how I am supposed to run keeps me from doing what I want to do.

Maybe one day I can see another bear run. Maybe the example could show me how it is really supposed to be done. Maybe I can learn to like running and maybe I can learn to run how a bear is supposed to run or maybe those squirrels will just leave me alone.

Or maybe I will just walk from now on.

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

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.

Imagine the thrashing.

tree dreams (2)

I like to ask all the things I meet whether or not they dream. Some give me forward, understandable answers. Rob (the squirrel), for example, always tells me about a single dream he has where is he king of the forest and all efforts by all creatures of the forest must advance his influence and/or provide resources for him. He says his dream always ends with a large bird rebelling his rule and snatching him from his stick built throne. He always wakes up right as the bird of prey’s vicious talons enter his stomach.  Strange but understandable.

I never ask for that much detail exactly, but I always figure it is good to let a squirrel express him/herself. Squirrels can act a bit… off when they do not get exactly what they want.

Some creatures have nicer dreams. A mole I accidentally sat on once and asked this question of to distract from the awkward topic of me accidentally sitting on her described very calming, sound based dreams. She told me that the sound of her tiny claws digging through soil relaxes her in her sleep for some reason as her mind recollects it during repose. It is usually accompanied with the mumbles and rumbles of things above her. I figured she would be frustrated by the sounds, but she explained to me that they are so familiar to her despite being a bit of a mystery, so they are soothing.

Not everything answers the question with a coherent response. Every raccoon I have asked, for example, has hissed at me as a response to my dream question. I realize that most of the raccoons are in the middle of a crucial dumpster diving expedition when I ask, but the hissing is really quite rude. Opossums, too, tend to respond in hisses as they rummage refuse.

The hisses are actually comforting compared to the silent responses I get from the most fascinating inhabitants of the forest. No rock has ever told me about a dream it has had. I have met many rocks, and not a single one has expressed even the slightest interest in dreams or sleep (or in other topics like water, fish, the sky, food, other rocks, or even the concept of silence). This sometimes leads me to suspect that perhaps rocks are not living, but I usually ignore this line of thinking since it seems to me inappropriate and slightly rude to presume the living status of something you are not living as. I am not, and have never been, a rock, so I have a hard time writing all rocks off as nonliving things.

Trees are a different story, however.

I know trees are living.

I know because they change in shape and color and they move and grow and sometimes I even think I hear them sing to me when it gets particularly windy.

But they never speak.

Trees do not take the time to speak to you. No tree will express joy, discontent, or any other emotion even if given a perfectly suitable platform to do so. Trees remain silent, and I think it might be a choice of theirs.

So, as you might expect, no tree will answer my dream question. I have asked nearly every tree I have ever encountered, but every tree I ask gives the same stoic silence that the last one gave me.

But I really want to know. I want to know if trees rest and if they do, I want to know if they dream and if they do, I want to know what they dream about. I think things that dream tend to dream about the things they witness, feel, consider, and experience. Trees have the time and space to consider and witness just about everything, so their dreams must be amazing concoctions of patched together bits of everything that has been, is, and ever will be.

Their nightmares must be terrifying.

As interesting as it must be to be there for everything, it must also lead to some traumatic experiences. Trees see the bad, nasty side of the forest. They see the part of the forest that insists you survive off anything you can find if you desire to survive at all. They see how cruel winter can be to every creature and how the blistering sun can be during the summer and how there just are not enough resources for every creature and how babies of any species can be desserts for another species.

That must make for some terrifying nightmares. A tree suddenly waking from a horrible dream must make for intimidating sight. Imagine all the thrashing it could do with those desperate, all-seeing limbs.

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 is a list of things to figure out at night.

night thinking (2)

A list of things to figure out at night:

  • Stars
  • Buzzing sounds
  • Dumpster mysteries
  • Opossum activities
  • Darkness of cave
  • Skinny trees emitting light
  • What crickets are up to
  • Why this skinny tree has some black lines coming from it
  • Maybe climb the skinny tree
  • Why there are so many metal splinters in this skinny tree
  • Where the moon goes
  • Where the sun goes
  • Keep climbing the skinny tree
  • Why nobody really fishes at night
  • Oh, it is hard to see the fish
  • You figured out the last one
  • That was a nice revelation
  • Get to the top of the skinny tree emitting light that has lots of tiny metal splinters on it
  • Why the night air smells better than the day air
  • Why it is not night all the time
  • Why it is not day all the time
  • Can you bite the black lines
  • Are they tree branches
  • Why is the grass wet in the morning
  • Why are you not covered in water in the morning
  • Raccoon activities
  • What tastes best at night
  • Not this black skinny tree limb that you are afraid to bite
  • But then again how would you know
  • Bite it maybe
  • It looks scary
  • Maybe do not bite it
  • Do not bite the skinny black limb of the skinny tree that emits light and has many metal splinters on it
  • Is this where the buzzing sounds are coming from
  • Why it is so easy to lose your balance at night
  • And fall
  • Out
  • of
  • the
  • skinny
  • tree
  • that
  • emits
  • light
  • and
  • has
  • many
  • tiny
  • sharp
  • metal
  • splinters
  • ow
  • Do not try to figure things out at night
  • Just sleep
  • It is not worth the risk

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

Also, why not go see/listen to a song created by Emeric Viani inspired by the things Bear says/thinks:

Eat everything you find.

opossum (2)

You must eat everything you find. It is an impulse you must have, an instinct that kicks in whenever anything edible (and most things are edible) is detected by your nose, eyes, or ears. Devour the target sustenance before anyone else can have the chance to take it. It must be consumed as soon as possible, without fail.

For better or worse, this is the relationship you must have with food in the forest. It is not an idea I have always believed. There was a time when I figured that all edible things were for anyone who needed to eat. I did not have any more right to the garbage can I found several cheese encrusted napkins in than any other living and willing creature in the forest. I have, a great many times, shared my findings with raccoons exploring the same dumpsters that I explore (though they usually do not seem to appreciate it). I have even left bits of food behind after I have had my share. There have been many clusters of berries that I have left only half picked so that other forest dwellers can get their fill.

I tried to stop this attitude the day I realized that other forest dwellers did not extend the same courtesy to me. Some time ago, during a cold, windy time of the year, I was having an incredibly difficult time finding food. Many berry bushels were stripped or dead. The river’s fish were gone (I assume because swimming in ice is very difficult). Even the bugs I sometimes snacked on seemed absent, making the forest feel barren and lifeless. I decided to check with the best source of food there is when the forest is having trouble providing: trash cans. There are several garbage cans and dumpsters I frequent. I have to travel quite far to get them, to places where the trees turn into human caves and the dirt turns into massive, flat rocks. Once you have the scent of one of these receptacles, however, they can be easy to find. I checked my regular spots. For some reason, on this particular day, they would not open. I scratched and pawed at every trash can I visited, and it was impossible to get the lid off of each one. Some little metal object was keeping the trash cans tightly shut.

I was frustrated.

When I got to my last trash can, there was a opossum waiting underneath some plastic bags near it. This trash can, like the others, was locked tight. I tried to ask the opossum if it knew of any open trash cans, but my questions were met with wild hissing. As I turned from the trash can to head back to my cave, I heard a creaking sound. I looked back to see what it was, and before my head could turn all the way around, I saw a black, full bag smack the ground followed by a loud slam where the creaking sound had been. I could smell the bag. There was something warm and delicious inside.

I slowly approached it.

The opossum quickly approached it.

The tiny creature ripped through the plastic and buried its pointy face into the bag’s treasures. I was patient. I watched, relying on the generosity of my fellow forest dwellers. Surely this opossum would leave me a shred of what was inside that bag. As I watched, waiting and trying to stop myself from lunging toward the bag, the opossum made a loud, horrible shrieking sound.

More opossums arrived.

I have no idea where they were hiding, but a small herd of pointy faced shriekers bombarded the plastic bag. The plastic was being stretched and clawed through. I could see the cluster of creatures climbing over one another as they chomped down whatever sustenance the bag had for them, their tiny toes and tails wiggling around, making it appear from the outside of the bag as though a million worms were inside.

Despite the grotesque imagery of the opossum feeding frenzy, my appetite did note wane, Naively, I waited still. I told myself that no creature could be so selfish and greedy as to take everything themselves and leave nothing for everyone else.

In an instant, they vanished.

I approached what tattered remains were left of the bag. There was nothing. Not even the slightest morsel of food could be gathered. I was enraged. I howled and growled at nothing. I ran toward where the creaking and slamming had happened, the origin of the plastic bag, and began clawing at the square shaped piece of wood that was there. Splinters caught my paw, and, in confused anger, I began to run around the plastic bag’s remains, still growling and howling, now in pain as much as rage.

The wooden square creaked open again.

A human stared at me.

I ran, frightened and angry. I was ashamed of myself, so I trudged back to my cave and licked some moss I found in a dark corner of my cave. I was ashamed of myself. I was ashamed for blaming the wooden square for my troubles (how could it have known opossums were so ravenous and self-centered?). I was ashamed for not helping myself to the plastic bag’s spoils. I was ashamed for assuming all creatures in the forest were invested in my best interests.

That was a very cold, long night.

Since then, I have been weary to let any fraction of the food I find to go untouched. I hunt and gather all nourishment and keep it and hoard it and never let a single soul outside myself know of its deliciousness.

Or, at the very least, I try to convince myself to do so. In practice, I still hold onto my old ways. I still leave behind pieces of food I find for other hungry forest inhabitants. I tell myself I should not. I tell myself that every creature is like those opossums. They will take everything right in front of you, but I am rarely actually able to stick to this philosophy.

I do not think every creature is like those opossums.

My instinct is not to take everything I want.

My instinct is try my best to live in a complex ecosystem that will not always be friendly to me.

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

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?

Do squirrels ever regret things? Probably not.

rob nut

Some say life is full of regret.

Not this bear’s life. My life is full of naps and acorn counting. Surely whatever woodland creature made such a negative utterance has done some terrible things or, at the very least, some things that made him/her feel terrible. While I would never claim to be Saint Bear of the Forest, I do feel that I have lived a good life thus far, and I have no plans on changing that.

It does make me wonder if maybe deep down I am not a good bear at all. Is my lack of regret actually a sign of internal villainy?

Do villains have regret for their villainous actions?

I asked Rob (the squirrel) what he thought, but he merely wrung his hands together and chuckled maniacally. It was a valid answer but not really the one I was looking for.

Rob (the squirrel), who has been known for mild villainy on occasion (mostly to ants and grasshoppers) seemed to be devoid of regret. Did we share the same moral compass? The thought perturbed me. As much as I consider Rob (the squirrel) a good friend, I did not want to be lumped into the same emotional maturity level as he. Surely he felt regret about something.

After some prodding (and light fur licking) Rob (the squirrel) said he regretted many things. He elaborated with the regalement of the time he stole seven sunflower seeds from a mouse family. They were storing them for the winter. Rob (the squirrel) felt so guilty he tried to return the seeds the following day only to discover the mouse family had been ravaged by a hungry Hawk. In the wake of this tragedy, he proceeded to eat the seeds with a clear conscious and never dwelled on the mouse family’s fate again.

I told him I didn’t think that sounded like regret.

Rob (the squirrel) shrugged his little grey shoulders, bit my nose, and scampered up a tree.

Alone, I began to dwell on my past actions. I began to wonder if there was anything I had done for which I wanted forgiveness. Did I require atonement for some past sin?

No. I couldn’t think of anything.

Either I was a sociopath or a saint. Sainthood seemed less likely. There was a third option, however: perhaps I block out every bad thing I do to protect myself from feeling regret and remorse. That was an interesting thought, but I had no memories or evidence to entertain it.

Then, like an acorn being hurled at my head from the top branch of a tree, it hit me: I did have regret that I could recall. At least a little of it.

Last week I found an ant hill ripe for eating. I remember dragging my tongue across their mount, lapping up dozens of little workers with each passing. I stood there for quite some time enjoying the spoils of my discovery.

After I thought I had my fill, I left the ant hill alone and wandered off to take a nap. When I woke up, I was hungry again. I tried to locate what was left of the ant hill, but I could not find it. Perhaps I had licked too much of it. But in reality, I felt like I didn’t eat enough ants. I wished that I had. There: that is regret.

I regret not having eaten more ants.

Suddenly, I felt better. I was comfortable in my own fur again. I had regret. Which was normal.

I wondered if I ate the deer by the river, if I would regret it later.

Probably not. He knows what he did.

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?