Tag Archives: bear blogs

I do not know what I cannot do.

forest rules (2)

Some tiny rodents spent a great deal of time building a tiny stick structure inside my cave.

Did you know you were allowed to do that?

I did not. The thought of doing so had certainly crossed my mind before. I had, on numerous occasions, considered building tiny structures within my cave (which is, itself, a kind of structure). I figured it was not allowed, though. Who would let such strange things happen with absolutely no consequences at all? Certainly, there had to be some rules on this matter.

It turns out there are no rules on this matter.

Or any matter, that is. Not in the forest, anyway.

After I accidentally slept on the rodents’ tiny structure (again, not against the rules but I am sure someone (probably the rodents) frown upon it), I decided I needed to try to understand the do’s and don’ts of the forest. After all, what if I was breaking forest rules, upsetting whoever created those rules (likely trees but a council of raccoons definitely seemed plausible as well).

I went exploring for answers.

I had no idea where to begin, so I just started doing what I like to do when I do not understand something: ask local squirrels and just sort of shout out my questions until someone or something answers them or I get sleepy and nap wherever I am standing.

My search was mostly fruitless.

Rob (the squirrel) (from whom I often seek perspective on various subjects because he thinks so differently compared to most things that think) said that there were no rules anywhere, that the word was meaningless, and that I should do whatever I please all the time until I die because that is all there is. Then he bit me and ran.

I suppose it would be nice to do anything I wanted forever and always, but I did not like Rob (the squirrel) biting me, and it would have been nice had there been a rule against that.

This was a complicated matter. What can you do in the forest? What can you not do in the forest? Who decided such things? Did I get any input on these decisions?

I still do not have the answers. I do my best to do what I think bears can do (eat grass, nap, stare at things, etc.) while trying to avoid what I think bears probably cannot do (get along with deer, fly, not nap, etc.).

It is intimidating to think I have to be my own rules compass, but if the forest cannot provide a set of rules for me and other creatures to follow, what am I to do?

Honestly, I just hope I am doing it right.

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.

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Hiding day.

hiding  (2)

Yesterday was a hiding day.

I do not know from what I hid, but I hid from it for quite a long time. I frequently find myself using a nice hiding day to keep away from whatever emotions, deer, bad weather, or rowdy squirrels could potentially give me trouble in a given day. It is nice to just hide away sometimes.

This particular hiding day, however, I wanted to know something: what happened when I hid? Did my worries and troubles really go away? Did the forest worry for my presence, perhaps even going so far as to send search parties out for me? Did anyone actually know where I hid?

There were so many mysteries on hiding days. Another mystery I had to figure out was how I would collect data on a hiding day. How could I hide and understand how the forest functioned while I was hiding? I would have to trust a friend.

I considered trusting Rob (the squirrel), but I knew he would do what all squirrels do (lie). Instead, I decided to ask a very friendly blue bird who nested in a small bush outside of my cave. The bird agreed to fly around the forest during my hiding day, seeing if anything out of the ordinary would happen, particularly things that seemed dependent on the presence of a bear (me).

Then I hid.

I hid inside the very bush where my new bird friend usually nested. It was a good hide. I spent practically all day sitting and hiding and enjoying some peaceful napping and staring.

Then the tiny blue bird came back and reported what he had found.

Nothing.

He told me that the forest had remained the same throughout the day. Nothing of notable importance had shifted in any way he could discern.

Everything was fine.

Without me.

Everything kept moving as it always had and likely always will.

It felt strange.

I thanked the bird for its time and observations and went to my cave. I napped some more. It was difficult to sleep with the knowledge of how unimportant I was to daily forest activities.

I had a dream where the bird, though observant and thorough, simply missed all the tiny aspects I impacted on a daily basis. He missed how the floor of my cave grew cold without me. He missed how Rob (the squirrel) was likely even more aimless and crazy than usual without my presence to balance him. He missed how the deer across the river probably did not even go to the river when I was not there. He missed that his day had even completely changed because of a simple request from me. He missed how the sun came up a few hours later and left a few hours earlier and how the moon did not shine as brightly as it usually did and how the sky fell a few feet downward and…

But that was just a dream. And a nice thought. But maybe he really did just miss a couple things.

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 wish bad things did not happen.

sticks are good (2)

I had a collection of sticks.

It was a lovely collection. It contained sticks that were long, sticks that were short, sticks that were pointy, sticks that split off into some sort of double stick thing, sticks that had been broken into more sticks, and even a few items that were not sticks but I felt deserved to be in the collection (dirt, a plastic bottle I found, some acorns, etc.).

I kept the collection near my cave and added to it frequently. The collection was growing quite large, and I loved seeing it grow. I was very proud of my collection of sticks (and stick related items), and just knowing that it was there, ever being a lovely collection of sticks (and stick related items), was comforting to me.

Recently, however, it was damaged. I do not know by whom or why, but someone or something ravaged my collection of sticks (and stick related items). I approached my sacred pride early one morning to find it strewn throughout the forest, massive chunks of the once amazing assortment scattered and broken and lost and gone forever.

I was heartbroken.

Why would someone do this? What had the collection of sticks (and stick related items) done to anyone? I tried to follow the path of chaos that had been left by the destroyer, but it was fruitless. Even pursuing the idea did little to make me feel any better about having lost the sticks in the first place. I just wanted my sticks (and stick related items).

I growled for awhile. At nothing, really. I wanted to be angry at what happened, and I wanted that anger directed at someone I could blame. But the loud roars I produced also failed to make feel any better about my lost stick (and stick related items) collection.

I felt lost and helpless. I considered: Why have a stick (and stick related items) collection to begin with if someone or something can just completely destroy it on a whim and with reckless, hostile force? Why bother collecting anything that could be so quickly smothered out of existence without notice?

I sulked for awhile, sitting next to my fractured stick (and stick related items) collection.

Then I collected the sad remnants of my sticks. I picked up the ones I could find with gritted teeth.

I piled everything back the way I remembered it was, as best I could.

It was a slightly smaller collection of sticks (and stick related items) now, but it was still my collection of sticks (and stick related items).

I do not know why my collection of sticks (and stick related items) was attacked. I wish it had not been. I wish my collection had been allowed to just be a collection of sticks (and stick related items) forever, never losing sticks or getting tossed around or being destroyed.

I wish that had not happened, but it did. I still have my collection of sticks (and stick related items), though. And I will keep adding to it like I have been. Maybe, one day, it will be just like it was before.

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

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.