Tag Archives: food

I ate some colorful, sharp berries.


Human caves.

They are very strange. I have mentioned how strange they are on numerous occasions. How they look approachable but foster dens of shouting and unpleasantness. How they have accessible dumpster locations that seem terrific until the shouting begins. How there is just so much shouting at them.

Human caves.

I do not like the shouting, obviously, but that has never stopped me from approaching and exploring human caves. There are just too many reasons to engage with human caves to avoid them completely, so I found myself very close to one very recently. This time it was what appeared to be a collection of very expressive berries that brought me to this human cave.

I was wandering around the forest, searching for food and nice rocks when the shine of a bush by a human cave caught my eye. It was so bright. So hypnotic. So enticing. I approached it with caution (as I always do with human caves), but no amount of apprehension could keep me from getting to these strange little bright berries on this bush. They blinked. Quickly and without reason. I had to see them up close.

When I got to the bush, I sniffed the bright little things. They smelled like the bush itself, which was odd. I had assumed that shiny berries would have a special, shiny scent to them, but they did not. I then decided to lick the berries. Again, they tasted like the scrawny, bare limbs of the plant they rested upon.

They were warm, though. As my nose got closer and closer to a single one, I felt its warmth. I wanted that warmth all over my fur. I wanted to bury myself into the bare twigs of the bush and bask in the warmth of these strange little berries.

So I climbed into the bush and let my weight plunge into the tiny, warm berries. It felt nice. So I napped there for a bit. I have no idea how long, but no human shouting ever tried to stop me, so I felt no rush to sprint away from where I was.

When I did wake up, I studied the berries again. Scentless but warm. Bright and oddly pointy. I had to know what they tasted like. So, I nibbled on a bright green one. Its soothing hue blinked against my tongue and cheek. I must have had a green mouth for a brief moment. That was probably interesting to see. Anyway, I bit the little thing. And then these berries were suddenly not so great or warm or pleasant. They hurt. Tiny, sharp bits of glass covered my mouth. I spit it out as best I could, but the shattered chunks of the angry berry were all around my teeth and saliva. I did what I thought I had to do: I ran away. It did not help, but it felt right. It was the first time something other than shouting drove me away from a human cave.

These berries were likely just defending themselves (something I had never seen before), so I can only get but so upset with what happened. My mouth still hurts, but at least I got to be warm and green-mouthed.

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.

The acorns were not mine.

When my belly is shouting at me to tend to it, using pain and anger to fuel my every decision, I cannot help but to eat nearly everything that comes into my sight. I have eaten some strange things, things that did not seem like food until I proved they were food. Crumpled leaves, fish skulls, anthills (including the ants sometimes), the wind (when it cooperates), things caught in the wind, basically everything inside any dumpster ever, sometimes the edges or corners of dumpsters, a bird once (more by accident and it was technically something that was caught in the wind (sorry, bird)). My mouth guides me on these occasions, and I become a furry ball of fury and teeth, claiming all chewable things as my meals.

Then I calm down.

It always happens.

I go off the edge while the hunger infects my very being, and then I fulfill whatever intangible thing causes me to be such a way, and then I calm down. Usually, when I calm down, I can look around, see the leftovers of the dumpster I was in, and move on with what happened. I ate some plastic bags filled with a dark liquid that smelled like burning? That is okay, I will move on. Oh, the tree I climb is missing a limb and my teeth hurt? That is okay, I will move on.

I was not able to move on recently.

I found a small cluster of acorns not very long ago. They were covered in leaves and pine needles and bits of dirt and my future shame and self-loathing. I smelled them from my cave. The wonderfully intoxicating aroma did not take long to pinpoint. With a small swipe of the claw, I was able to reveal the acorns. They were beautiful. They were delicious looking. They were delicious looking.

Without thinking, I hurled my jaws over the acorns and began to gobble them through my teeth and tongue and spit. In groups of two and three, I would go into the pile and further diminish the acorn reserve.

I ate them all.

When I calmed down, when I ceased to be the monster that I can so easily become, I realized that those acorns were not my acorns. That is probably true of most of the things I eat, of course. The dumpsters are not mine. The wind is not mine. The anthill is not mine. But something about this acorn collection, the way it was gathered so neatly and so beautifully, the way so many leaves and pine needles were so delicately placed and organized, it forced me to know they were not mine.

Someone was saving these acorns.

Someone was probably saving these acorns for when the hunger, the vicious, angry little beast that it can be, would infest their being. And when it happens to them, they will not have the comfort of an acorn reserve to soothe them.

Who knows what they might do.

I might have made a monster.

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.

Eat everything you find.

opossum (2)

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

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

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

I was frustrated.

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

I slowly approached it.

The opossum quickly approached it.

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

More opossums arrived.

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

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

In an instant, they vanished.

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

The wooden square creaked open again.

A human stared at me.

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

That was a very cold, long night.

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

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

I do not think every creature is like those opossums.

My instinct is not to take everything I want.

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

I am a bear.

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

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