Tag Archives: etc

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.

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

missing-stick1

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

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

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

Today was difficult.

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

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

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

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

I do not know.

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

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

I might look like something else from up there.

attack1-2

Birds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

Special dumpster days.

dumpsters-2

For the most part, there are not a whole lot of things to look forward to when it comes to living in the forest. Many things about forest living are difficult, and most of my time is spent trying to avoid being hungry and/or awake, and I would guess most creatures probably agree with me (unless they are deer since deer enjoy all the needless suffering that goes on all the time). Being in the forest is generally a moment-to-moment sort of existence, and even really thinking about what might happen next can be upsetting since it often does not happen (at least not the positive possibilities).

There is an exception, however. Once in awhile, when the dumpsters are nearly full and the plastic bags within them are beginning to rip apart, there comes a day when all the dumpsters around the forest are accompanied by even more dumpsters, smaller in size and different in shape but just as lovely as their bigger, differently shaped friends. They fill the tiny backspaces that are normally occupied by the dumpsters, and then all around everywhere I go I can see floods of various shaped and sized dumpsters, and it is so incredibly lovely.

The best time to go is at night, of course. You do not have to spend the entire evening searching and hunting for the perfect dumpster diving place, either. There are so many to choose from and they are so filled to the brim with treasures that it is actually easy to get one that you like. The bountiful amount of goods also leads to far fewer instances of raccoon/opossum attacks/hissing fits. There is just so much to go around that no creature even gets too upset when a his/her dumpster gets invaded. That creature just moves on to the next prize.

The only problem with nights like these are the human encounters. Humans, as I have established many times, are strange, loud creatures of the forest that mostly yell when they see you. I have been yelled at by many, many humans, and being yelled at scares me more than almost anything.

But even the human yelling fails to stop nights like these from being so absolutely enjoyable in every way imaginable. I have even caught myself, mid-dumpster diving, trash bag in my mouth, ignoring the shouts of the humans who wanted me to leave the dumpster I was in. I was so hypnotized by the allure of the smells and tastes and wonderfulness of the entire dumpsterscape, that no force, even the harsh, shrill voice of an angry human, could stop me from enjoying myself.

It is one of the few escapes from harsh forest life that is offered, and even though it does not seem to happen nearly as often as it should, I, and you should as well, enjoy every moment of it. It is the one thing to look forward to 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? 

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 deer across the river pushed me into the river.

The deer across the river pushed me into the river.

deer evil (2)

I did not actually see this happen, but I am absolutely sure it was him. Who else could act so aggressively and maliciously against everything that I am? I do not mind being in the water, but to be suddenly (and without my consent) placed into the river? No. That is not good, and I do not like it, and I am so very angry at the deer across the river and how vile of a creature he truly is.

I am sorry.

I do not mean to come off so flustered, but this was a very bad experience for me. I smelled an interesting and strange smell coming from what was probably a bug or a leaf or maybe a neat rock across the river where I usually get water and look at my reflection. It was coming from where the deer across the river usually stands, mocking me with his knowing glances and horrible demeanor. Against my best interests, I decided to go to the interesting smell. I knew the risk: the deer could be there at any moment, and surely an experience with him would be incredibly upsetting. I liked the smell of whatever was there, though, and I was willing to risk a chance encounter with the deer to smell such a lovely smell up close.

I swam across the river and climbed onto the ground. My paws got muddy as I hurled my wet nose into the soil, searching for the smell I had caught from across the river. I followed the lovely aroma to a tree that leaned toward the river. On one of the lowest branches of the tree sat a bug. I climbed to it, ignoring the tiny cracks of the tree that begged me not to. I told myself I would not spend too much time on the tree, so the cracking sounds could be ignored. I breathed in heavily to fill the insides of my bearness with the smell of this fascinating bug. I did this for awhile, and I was not interrupted by the deer during this crucial smelling experience (at least I can thank him for that, I suppose).

The bug flew away eventually. When it did, It was time to go back to my side of the river, and I cautiously climbed back down to the ground, trying not to bend the branch anymore than I already had. I was surprised the deer was not around yet, but I accepted my luck and approached the river.

Right as I tossed my first paw forward toward the water, I felt a rough jab against my backside. I slipped on the muddy ground and catapulted toward the river. With an embarrassing, enormous splash, I crashed into the water. My ears were instantly filled with water and anger as I desperately paddled my front paws to get to the surface. I knew who was behind this villainous act before my snout got to fresh forest air. The deer across the river. He stood where I had fallen. Beside him laid a broken branch. Surely it was his weapon of choice to commit this atrocity. He had even chosen the branch I had used to comfortably enjoy the smells of a new bug/possible friend. It was cruel. I made desperate growling sounds toward him as he puffed out his lips and made whatever you call the awful sounds deer make when they make sounds (it sounds like coughing but somehow more sickly and depressing).

I got back to my side of the river. I stared at him until my fur began to dry. I wanted him to apologize for what he did, though I knew that would be impossible. I would settle for an admission to guilt, but I never got one. After some more hacking/coughing, the deer walked away. He left his weapon behind.

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.

You are a bear. Do not get ants in your nose.

You are a bear. Living in the forest provides you with an array of fascinating smells, sights, and food. You live for the eclectic forest experiences that you collect on a daily basis. Every tree stump, abandoned cave, riverbed, bushel, and strange human structure offers a unique, amazing sensory overload.

Among these fascinating structures: an anthill.

You have never licked, smelled, clawed at, or even thought too deeply of anthills. Before today, you had never even seen an anthill that was idle, without ants. This anthill currently has no ants rummaging around the top of it. It is idle.

Without ants. At least ones you can see.

It is a very nice anthill.

You choose to…

Why do I have to not be a bear eventually?

not forever (2)

Can you win at living in the forest? Does living in the forest stop when you do well enough, or is the only end similar to the end of the anthill I accidentally sat on: nonexistence?

I have never heard of anyone successfully finding an ending to forest living other than the one detailed with my ant experience. That does not mean there is not another way out of forest living. Perhaps achieving it means being taken away from the forest, thus it would be difficult for anyone who has experienced it to communicate its existence to anyone who has not experienced it. Maybe there is a particular set of actions and mindsets that will help you not end up being the bird carcass I found inside my cave the other day. Maybe you can end up not nonexisting. Maybe you can keep being the thing you like being forever and ever no matter what.

I do not know.

Nobody does.

But I cannot help but to obsess over the possibility when I think about not being a bear (or an anything else for that matter). It is terrifying. I want to keep being a bear, and it seems strange to me that eventually, no matter what, I have to not be a bear.

Why do I have to not be a bear eventually? Why was I designed to be a bear so well for so long, only to have it eventually taken from me for no reason that I can figure out?

Why be a bear only to eventually not be a bear?

The most frustrating part about these questions is how useless everyone and everything seems to be when it comes to answering them. Trees? Nothing in regard to these questions. Squirrels? They seem unable to think beyond a few seconds ago and a few seconds from now. The sky? Well, the sky never says anything, so that is silly to even consider. For awhile I figured rocks might know (the depth of their wisdom is only matched by the hardness of their being and their effectiveness in chipping my teeth when I chew on them), but if they do, they are not sharing the answers.

It would be nice to at least have some kind of encouragement when these matters, some kind of reassurance that not everything about existing beyond right here and now is so daunting and terrifying. Nothing provides that, though. And, in fact, the forest is littered with clues to point to the opposite. Everything that stops being a thing in the forest does not get to do so gracefully. In fact, most things are just eaten or simply rot away (I cannot fault the forest too much for this, after all, since I do a lot of said eating).

So how can I win at living in the forest? What can I do to keep being a bear and not face not being a bear? What does the forest want from me in return?

Or do I need to just accept that I might not be a bear one day?

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.