Tag Archives: bear stuff

Not all birds are nice.


Not all birds are nice. I am sorry if this is a controversial statement, but after much consideration, I have come to the conclusion that not every avian creature has my best interest at heart. In fact, some birds are downright malicious toward me for reasons I have not yet discovered.

The first bit of evidence to support my claim presented itself quite awhile ago. I was sitting under a tree branch outside my cave, enjoying the cool shade and thinking about things I like to think about when I hide from the sun’s heat (being a bear, the migration of squirrels, do squirrels migrate?, wait, what is migration?), when a hawk (at least, I think it was a hawk) swooped down and thrusted its sharp feet at my face.

Why did the bird (I am pretty sure it was a hawk) do this? Had I insulted it? Was there food beneath me and the bird wanted me to move? Was the hawk disappointed with my lack of knowledge regarding squirrel migration? Can birds read my thoughts?

There was no way for me to know. The hawk fled away as quickly as it had swooped in. At the time, I wrote the encounter off as a misunderstanding. Perhaps birds spend so much time in the air, they forget how things that live on the ground (me) do not enjoy being swooped upon.

But a similar encounter happened just last night. Another bird (probably a hawk again) swooped down into my cave as I slept and spent the night screeching at me. I had not invited the hawk in nor had I asked for some sort of horrible wake-up call. The hawk had simply taken it upon itself to come into my home and yell at me until I left my own cave. At first I thought maybe there was some sort of ownership dispute regarding my cave, but I then remembered that birds (especially hawks) do not live in caves. Also, it was definitely my cave, I am sure of that.

I stormed back into MY cave and demanded that the hawk leave. After some more screeching, clawing and flapping, the hawk fled.

I did not sleep the rest of the night. The whole incident was just too unpleasant. Instead, I decided to lay in the mouth of my cave, eat the eggs I keep finding in the tree by my cave, and watch for more malicious, unprovoked avian attackers.

I am sorry for whatever I did (if anything at all). I just wish all birds were nice, but so many of them do not seem to be.

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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I think I have been here before.


Even though I spend all of my time in the forest, I feel like I have not explored very much of it. Sometimes I will walk for a long time in one direction, hoping to feel the excitement that comes with treading unexplored territory, but I usually get too scared or intimidated by the immense size of the forest to go very far in any one direction. I end up back in my cave, enjoying its comfortable and familiar damp pointy walls.

In an attempt to challenge myself and explore more of the forest, I recently tried fighting the urge to turn back at the sight of the unfamiliar during one of my brief forest excursions. I walked away from my cave in a direction that was not toward the river or my favorite tree or the very interesting looking rock I like so much. I went in a direction that was unfamiliar, and I just walked.

And I kept walking.

Aimless but attentive, taking in the sights and the sounds of the forest as I went.

The more attention I gave to those sights and sounds, the more I began to feel like everything I was experiencing was very familiar. I walked until the sun was almost ready to retire into the trees past my sight, and I did not feel like I had seen anything new. It was all very lovely, for sure. I do adore the sights and sounds of the forest, no matter how frequently I experience them, but everything felt more familiar than I had anticipated. Usually that far into a walk, I would be ready to run in whatever direction I had come from, but where I went felt safe and known. Especially when I got to a cave. It was a nice cave. It was damp and rocky and comfortable. It had a delicious and soft bed of moss in one corner. Another corner had a fine collection of rabbit skeletons. There were some leaves spread about. It was wonderful. It was familiar.

Was it my cave? It felt like my cave. It smelled and tasted like my cave. I had walked away from my cave, though, so I was confused. What was I supposed to do? I did what came naturally to me: I slept in the cave. When I woke, it still felt like my cave. When I went outside of the cave, it felt like the outside of my cave.

Either I had just walked back to my cave by accident or I had stumbled upon an exact replica of everything I knew. I was not sure which was true, so I licked the pile of moss in the corner and napped a little longer. It felt right, and, really, either way, I felt like I was at home.

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.

Maybe I should be more mindful of my surroundings.


Relative to most forest creatures, I am quite large. I know this when I think about it. The problem, however, is that I rarely think about my largeness. It is easy to forgot about my largeness when I am merely traversing the forest, trying to be a bear. Maybe I just need more practice thinking about two things at one time (bearness and largeness). Or, maybe I should start focusing more on the largeness part.

It does not affect everything I do in the forest. My largeness is usually not a problem. I fit through most bushes and generally I do not need to scrape up against a tree unless I want to scratch an itch. I still float, too. When I get into the river, I spread out my largeness and I float about. It is nice until the deer across the river inevitably hisses at me with its horrible face, but even that, I believe, is not caused my largeness.

My largeness has caused pain and suffering to those around it, though. The bench I found among a lightly treed part of the forest was one such victim. I sat on it, enjoying my time on it as my fur baked in the sun. It was ever so comfortable and relaxing until I heard a thundering crack beneath me. I looked around, trying to understand where the sound came from, and then, it happened again. I fell through the bench and onto the dirt. With some dramatic thrashing, howling, and wriggling I am not proud of, I managed to escape the corpse of the bench, but the bench was gone. Destroyed. No longer a bench. I felt awful for what I had done. I tried to apologize to the bench, but I was unable to, the guilt holding back my thoughts and forcing me to scurry into the forest where my largeness got in the way again as I stepped on an anthill by total accident.

Had I murdered again? Had I turned into such a terrible beast, unable to care or empathize with those who were subjected to my largeness? Before I could answer any of these questions, the biting began.

I ran some more, bumping into trees and smashing branches and stepping on who knows what. By the time I was back in my cave, I promised myself I would try to control my largeness. When I woke from the nap that followed that event, I realized there was little I could do about my largeness. I suppose being large is just part of being a bear. I also realized, though, that I needed to at least be more mindful of my largeness. I had a duty, as a largeness having creature, to ensure my largeness did not negatively hurt others.

I also do not like ant bites…

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 do not know where my thoughts go when I am done thinking them.


My bear brain is quite active. I have thoughts and ideas and memories and other unidentifiable things going on in there practically all the time. It is rare my bear brain feels switched off, and even when it does feel that way, I usually end up thinking about how it feels that way, which switches it right back on.

But all of these processes that go on in there are not going on all the time at the same time. That would be overwhelming, I am sure, so my bear brain tends to a task or thought or an anything at all one at a time. That makes everything more manageable, of course. I am, however, often bothered by the idea that these thoughts and such just go when I do not need them. It bothers me simply because I do not know where, exactly, they go.

Everything in the forest can be touched and moved and smelled, so it is usually quite easy to keep track of the comings and goings of these things (except squirrels for obvious reasons). Thoughts are not like that. They do not have a cave they head home to when they are done for the day. They do not wait around in a perceivable place, anticipating your next need for their use. I have no idea where they go. Some can get memorized, which I guess is as close to a cave for them to go home to as there gets, but even that is not tangible. Even those can just go. 

And when they do decide to go they are gone.

Sometimes these thoughts never come back. I frequently lament the loss of a thought, wishing it had stayed a little longer so I could commit it to memory, but most do not. It would be nice to know that they at least go off to a nice place. Somewhere warm and safe. But part of me believes that they go on to nothing. They simply stop being. I do not like that thought, and it is a thought that does not really go away like others do.

I try to hold onto the important thoughts. I try really hard to remember the sorts of thoughts that make forest living easier, but I am sure I have even lost some of those. And when they are gone, they leave nothing behind but a strange, fleeting empty feeling. Then again, maybe they can come back and I am simply unable to recognize them. Maybe thoughts can come to my bear brain, seemingly new to me, and recycle themselves. But who knows.

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.

How I handled a bee I saw after it saw me: a series of mistakes that led to a strange triumph.


As the air gets warmer and the forest gets greener, it is clear that spring is shaking the forest loose from the harsh, extensive grip that winter sometimes seems to have. It is, generally speaking, a welcome change in my daily forest interactions. The mud from the rain is nice. The air is warm but not wet yet. Trees seem to enjoy it. Flowers certainly do (and you can eat those, which is a bonus).

The forest seems slightly more pleasant in the spring than it does during other times of the year.

Until you see a bee.

I have seen a great many bees in my lifetime, and bees and I generally have an understanding: I will keep sniffing things and ignoring you and you will keep being a bee and ignoring me. It is reasonable to me, and most bees are quite polite about the policy. It is best, for all creatures involved, if we ignore one another.

Today, though, I admit, I failed. I failed to ignore a bee.

I saw the bee.

And then it saw me, its deep, midnight gaze piercing through my very bearness, tearing its way through everything I have ever thought I was. That moment lasted a small eternity, if that is possible. In that moment, I obsessed over the worst possible thing that could happen as a result of this encounter: stinging things. If you have never been stung by a bee, consider your life a lucky, fulfilled one because being stung by a bee might be the worst thing that can happen to anyone who encounters a bee. It is such a devastating, awful event that when a bee stings you, it rids itself from the forest entirely, likely because of the guilt it feels for bringing such terror to another creature’s life.

I did not want to get stung. And I did not want this bee not be a bee anymore (even if it was terrorizing every bit of my sensibilities). I did what any normal creature would do… I yelled at the bee. I was hoping this would scare the bee, but it only yelled back, its harsh buzzing sounds echoing through my fuzzy ears, a shrill reminder of the pain to come after the inevitable stinging.

So… I did what any normal creature would do after yelling at something with no success… I ran at it… In the moment, it felt like the right thing to do. I knew I was much larger than a bee, so I figured it would be terrified of my largeness multiplied by my speed.

It was not.

It hovered above me, as if to mock my grounded paws. It had the high ground (or, air, I suppose) and was surely about to strike. I, again, did what I thought any normal forest creature would do… I closed my eyes and gasped, my mouth sitting wide open just long enough for the bee to fly right into it…

I panicked. I ran. I shook my face violently. And then I spit. The bee hit the ground, covered in my saliva. I felt terrible. What had I done to this poor bee, its only crime being its sight of me?

Its tiny wings fluttered, shook my spit from it, and it unceremoniously took flight. Before I could ask for its forgiveness, it was gone, back in the depths of forest it came from, away from me.

I was shaken by the event. I felt a strange mix of guilt and triumph. I fought a bee, which usually ends with at least one causality, and we both lived to tell the tale. And I think I even won.

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 think there might be too many leaves.

bear leaves (2)

Calculating the ever-growing number of leaves that seem to fall from trees is an impossible task. Just when you think they have all fallen and that there could not be any more lingering up in the branches, more come.

I tried to consolidate the number of leaves in the direct vicinity of my cave one afternoon in hopes that it would make the opening of my cave more appealing to forest creatures who pass by. Rob (the squirrel) calls this “curb appeal.” He also suggest I trim some of the low branches of nearby trees, but I decided this would be cruel since the trees did nothing wrong and did not deserve such a punishment. Trees are pure entities who only have good will toward everything else in the forest (even the awful act of shedding leaves is actually beyond their control). If anyone or anything was to blame for the number of leaves on the ground, it was the wind…

I knew the wind was to blame after my initial leaf consolidation.

I had seven tidy piles collected that resulted a nice grassy clearing to lay in. The sun beamed through the bare branches to heat my newly cleared spot. It was refreshing to have the warmth beneath by belly meat. Before I could drift off to sleep, a rush of crunchy orange and red things pelted me in the face.

I sprung from the clearing to see that the piles I had collected were launching a full assault against me and their driving force was, beyond any doubt, the wind.

I felt betrayed. The wind was often the source of delicious smells. Why would it turn on me with such malice?

I wondered if I was hasty in blaming the wind. Maybe there were really just too many leaves.

There was only one way to find out. I would turn the leaves into something constructive. With the help of Rob (the squirrel) I skewered leaves on fallen twigs and used bits of twine from the dumpster to cinch them together. Eventually I had enough to begin forming the twigs into shapes. The shapes eventually formed images. From the leaf skewers I formed the shapes of many things in the forest: rabbits, squirrels, rocks, trees (ironically enough), me, and even a really big leaf.

From the chaos I created something wonderful. Rob (the squirrel) even lauded my work (even though he said that if the squirrel I made was him, it was a bit fatter than he’d like it to be).

With an overwhelming sense of pride in my work, I decided I had deserved a nap. I went into my cave and fell asleep the moment my head hit the dirt floor.

Hours later, I awoke to find my work ransacked by raccoons. They had destroyed all the shapes I had made (perhaps I should have thrown just one raccoon into the mix).

I wanted to be angry about what had occurred, but I wasn’t. Instead, I was struck with an epiphany.

Too many leaves was not the problem.

Vandal art critic raccoons were.

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 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.