Tag Archives: bear thoughts

Naps do not always make me feel as good as I want them to make me feel.

napping (2)

I sleep often.

I enjoy how sleeping makes me feel both during and after the sleeping, so whenever I need those feelings, I try to sleep. Napping is a big part of my sleeping, so, generally speaking, napping makes me feel good (or is supposed to make me feel good).

Not every nap does what it is supposed to do, however.

Recently, my naps have ceased to give me the feelings of comfort and weightlessness that used to accompany them, the naps that is. Now when I nap, I feel strange and even more tired than when I decided to nap. Things feel fuzzy and hostile when I wake, as if the forest decidedly kept moving without me, the trees taking a vote on the matter and coming to the conclusion that most trees prefer to move the forest along without me, a bear, over waiting for me to nap.

I know that is not the case. I think (hope) trees like me, and I assume they are probably far too busy with tree matters (sticks, leaves, things blooming or falling depending on the weather) to even think about my naps, especially not maliciously so.

Naps do that now, however. I no longer feel refreshed and ready to continue the day after a brief nap. I want to feel that way, but it just does not seem to happen like that now.

I have thought about what has caused the downfall of my personal naps for awhile now. I have no conclusive proof of any kind of cause, but I do think it might have something to do with distractions. I feel more distracted now than I used to, I think, which makes it difficult to let go of my thoughts and feelings (a process that is necessary to create and maintain a lovely sleeping/napping condition).

I keep thinking when I should be napping. This is a problem.

I find it much more difficult now to let go of these thoughts and feelings. The thoughts are many and varied. It is not as though I have one, single line of thinking when it is time to rest, like something I know will help me sleep instead of hold my sleep back. I think about the forest and the creatures of the forest. I think about bearness and my bearness or my lack of bearness or how I even know what bearness is or if bearness is even a thing. I think about naps and how thinking keeps them from being enjoyable (that line of thinking is particularly frustrating). I think about today, yesterday, and tomorrow, but never as though they are connected in any manner, which, now that I am thinking about that thought, I think they might be.

All of these things sprint around my mind when my mind should be shutting down and preparing to nap.

I want my naps back. I never knew I would miss them so much.

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.


The dumpster next to the broken fences: a food experience critique.

I frequent many dumpsters  in my travels throughout the forest and areas adjacent. With as many as I do visit, it can be difficult for a dumpster to really stick out to me as particularly special or worthy of future visits. The dumpster next to the broken fences I found, however, manages to do both of those things. Not only did this dumpster feature an interesting spicy plastic dish I had never had, but it also managed to contain not one but two whole fish carcasses. Even with the (possibly rabid) raccoon watching my every move in mind, the dumpster next to the broken fences has been one of the best dining experiences I have had in a very long time.

Course 1: Spicy yellow plastic bag with very strange dust

I have to admit, after I managed to hurdle my legs over and into this dumpster, I was not optimistic about the first thing I found. I have eaten many plastic bags in the past, and though they are very fun to chew on, they are not great to eat and almost impossible to digest. This plastic bag, however, was so intriguing. Spicy. It was so spicy. I could feel the heat of whatever once sat in the bag run down my tongue and out of my nose as it cleared my nostrils. There was a strange dust that came with the bag, too. It was spicy like the bag, but there was so little of it available. I liked what I had, but I really just wanted more. Side note: the plastic bag featured a drawing of a very strange cat with black eyes and thumbs. I was not fond of him. He was scary.

Course 2: Two fish carcasses (one with the eyes still in the head)

I did not expect fish carcasses. Sure, maybe one fish carcass. Maybe cans that smell like fish carcasses. But two whole carcasses? This was a rarity and a delight. One carcass even had two large, yellow eyes resting in the skull. The bones of the carcasses were soft and chewable, making them very easy to eat. I did not accidentally choke even once. One fish carcass was drenched in a tangy sort of red mystery liquid. I hoped the sauce would be hot and spicy like the plastic bag from the first course, but, unfortunately, it was quite bland and did little in favor of the carcass itself. It was not unpleasant, but it was definitely not necessary.

Course 3: Apples cores with a light coating of coffee grounds

The apples cores looked stunning. Presentation wise, they were the most appetizing looking course of the night. Unfortunately, I was unable to actually eat any of them as my meal was interrupted by a (possibly rabid) raccoon who barged into the dumpster very suddenly. Then I heard very loud shouting as the raccoon scrambled and clawed at me. He quickly jumped out of the dumpster and I followed because loud sounds are very scary.

The dumpster next to the broken fences I found was one of the best dining experiences I have had since that time I licked the moldy rock in my cave an entire morning. I would give it a perfect review if it were not for the incredibly scary loud sounds that drove me away at the end of the meal. With its minor faults in mind, I give the dumpster next to the broken fences I found:

4 out of 5 (2)

4 out of 5 lovely leaves.

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.

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.


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.

Accepting snakes: why I want to but I cannot.

image1 (2)

Snakes are horrifyingly terrible terror serpents who I assume only exist to make life for all other living organisms in the forest more difficult and exhausting.

I apologize for that very aggressive introduction, but snakes and I have a long, horrible history, and that history is almost completely based off snakes intruding on my personal space (mentally and physically) and harming me (mentally or physically).

When I push my emotions to the side and truly contemplate snakes as creatures in the forest (as they well deserve), I know they exist for reasons that are likely too complex or important for me to thoroughly understand and process. Snakes have a purpose. I know this. However, I wish I knew that the importance of this purpose outweighed my aggressive loathing for them.

I cannot figure out their purpose, though.

Why are snakes here and why does the forest need them and why can they not just leave me alone and exit my mind and my cave and never come near me ever?

I asked other creatures of the forest why snakes existed. I received varying answers. A opossum screeched at me (I assume she is afraid of snakes, too). The anthill I asked seemed neutral on the subject, responding mostly in silence and very organized rows of many, which makes sense given that ants seem to only care about ants, dirt, and how ants interact with dirt. Rob (the squirrel) (from whom I did not expect a rational or just answer) said that snakes have only one purpose: to be questioned about by me. He then laughed at me and stole an acorn I had found.

I also asked a lizard. My thinking was that lizards look quite similar to snakes (except for the legs and discernible body/tail and generally pleasant disposition), so perhaps lizards had more insight on the subject. The lizard said that everything has a purpose in the forest, and that often the purposes are very subtle and involve food. He added that these purposes only exist in the construct of the forest and have no value outside of the forest and, therefore, meant almost nothing on any scale larger than the forest so making cosmic sense of anything was ultimately futile and a waste of time. I liked the first part of the answer (it was difficult to consider the second part because of the food part of the first part), but it did not help. Are snakes food? Do snakes make food? Should I eat more snakes?

Snakes are a part of life. They always have been. They always will be. No matter how much I want snakes to not be a part of life, there is no changing these facts. I have to learn how to live with snakes. Or I have to begin eating all snakes (which I do not want to do because they have pointy teeth and the few times I have eaten snakes I felt a deep, uneasy essence in my being that I was unable to get rid of for days, even weeks on in).

Maybe I can just try to talk to snakes. I do not think I have ever done that. Maybe understanding snakes is like understanding any other creature: you just have to get to know them personally. And not eat them or assume they exist only to ruin your life.

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, thank you to everyone who participated in the survey-based adventure Bear embarked upon on Twitter last week. Thousands of you voted to help him decide what basic decisions to make about his day. It was very fun, and he hopes to find time to do it again soon. 


I talked to a snake and it bit me.


Branches and roots and bark and being a home for others: I want to be a tree sometimes.

tree roots (2)

I like being a bear, but I would be fibbing if I said I never dreamed about being a tree. Trees are noble, silent, and everseeing and probably everknowing and smell great. Trees are tall and impressive. They taste good. They are fun to chew on. Trees are everything to everyone forever and never complain about having to fulfill that duty all of the time.

I like trees.

I am not a tree, though. I will never be a tree. And maybe that is for the best, but I do like pretending I can be a tree. One of my favorite pastimes is digging my pointy claws into the soft earth and pretending they are tangled roots to my tree being. I dig in and settle myself and let the wind and the elements run through my fur and my ears.

I pretend I can see everything in that spot forever. I imagine the seasons passing over me constantly and consistently. I imagine my fur as gnarled branches reaching toward the sky, acting as homes for birds and bugs and bees and leaves and light and anything else that is light enough to stay there when it wants to. I close my eyes and think about existing in the same spot for what must feel like always and experiencing that single spot for so long that you know everything about it.

Eventually the soil gets uncomfortable, though. I realize I am not a tree and shake the dirt off my toes and go back to being what I know I am: a bear. I will never truly get to experience the longevity or evereverythinging of treeness.

I only know how to experience bearness. I suppose that is not too horrible, but I do constantly find myself trying to know existing beyond what existing as a bear has to offer. I wish I could be like the raccoon I ran into while sleeping in a dumpster a few days ago who was chewing on his own leg and foaming from the mouth and (maybe even) the ears: I wish I could just accept who I am.

But I cannot. I think I always desire the -ness of another being, and I will probably always have a hard time accepting my own bearness. I can still pretend, however. I can still take a few moments out of my day to hurl my claws into some dirt and pretend that I am a tree.

Even if  I am just a bear.

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 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?

I found a chair.


The forest is cluttered with a variety of wonderful objects that are not native to the forest. Some of them are completely harmless (donuts, tents, wind). Some of them seem to serve no purpose to the forest (tires, chairs, strange birds). And some are downright bad for the forest’s overall well being (the deer across the river). Throughout my travels of the forest, I have found a great number of these curious artifacts. I almost always stop to inspect them. Sniff them. Lick them. Stare at them. However, no matter how I approach these objects, nearly all of my interactions with them have one thing in common: I usually accidentally break them.

I never mean to end the life of the strange objects I find in the forest, but I almost always do. Take, for example, a lovely plastic chair I recently stumbled upon. It was a beautiful red color, some of it fading into a more orange hue from exposure to the sun. It had to have been in the forest for quite some time, so I felt beckoned to examine it beyond a simple glance from afar.

I approached the chair.

It was still, so I was assured that any further poking around would not be met with some kind of violent reaction from the chair.

I sniffed it.

It smelled like dirt. It also smelled a little bit like insects (not any specific kind that I could detect).

I licked it.

Dirt. Again. Also insects. Again. I think I could taste the sun on it, too, but then again, I am not entirely certain what the sun actually tastes like (though I have my theories).

The chair was withstanding nearly every part of my normal investigation pattern: approach, sniff, lick. I only had one step left: sit. I frequently find myself trying to sit on new things I find in my ever vigilant search for the most comfortable things in the forest. Was this chair going to be comfortable? At the time, I had no idea, but I had to know.

So I sat on the chair.

It was nice for a moment. A brief moment. Then the tiny legs of the chair snapped and I found myself hurtling toward the ground. It was not a long trip from the top of the chair to the ground, but it was long enough to frighten me and send me running off into the forest. At the time, I did not know that this action was me actually killing the chair by accident. I had to run away just in case this was the chair’s way of trying to kill me on purpose.

I hid behind a tree for awhile.

When I felt like it was safe to come out, I did. The chair was still broken. Its sad cracked legs were shattered. Pieces of them were scattered around the forest floor. I felt guilty.

I put the broken chair through the same process of investigation as I had the whole chair (approach, sniff, lick, sit). This was to ensure that the chair did not change its mind about not being violently reactive to something after becoming a broken chair.

It did not break again when I sat on it the second time, but it was clear that I had left a significant amount of damage from my investigation.

I like finding new things in the forest. I like investigating those new things, too, but I wish I knew a more effective, less damaging manner of doing so. I am sorry, chair that I broke. Also, I am sorry, everything else I have sat on by accident or on purpose. That includes you, the opossum who was nesting in my moss collection. It was an accident, opossum. I promise.

I just want to know more about where I live, and I hope I can learn how to do so in ways that do not leave chairs and opossums upset and/or crushed.

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?