Tag Archives: smells

Some things smell worse than other things (deer).

deer smell (2)

Smells are curious things. They fill the forest (and my nose) with either tantalizing or intriguing aromas for what often seems like unknown reasons. In some cases, smells have a very clear-cut origin. If the wind brings me a whiff of burnt meat, I know that humans are cooking some sort of tubular snack on one of those fire spewing tiny dumpsters at the nearby park (those dumpsters are terrifying, by the way).

If I am walking through the forest (presumably looking for berries/acorns/old dirt to eat) and a particularly stinging stench coils up in my nostrils, I know that a skunk (or skunks) have found my presence offensive and have taken it upon themselves to let me and every other forest creature in the immediate area aware of their unhappiness. It makes me wonder what smells I make when I am upset.

But other smells are far more mysterious. At times, smell behavior can be very disorienting and, dare I say it, sinister (and yes, I realize that the aforementioned skunk smell may be considered quite diabolical, but it isn’t; that is simply one forest creature doing what it can do to better its own unique characteristics…or something to that affect…what I am trying to convey is that skunks are nice and my nose forgives them).

At this point, it has been well-documented that my relationship with the deer across the river is a strenuous one, but do not use the following example with any sort of bias: the deer stinks.

It knows it. I know it. It knows that I know it. And it knows that it bothers me.

The smell that permeates from the deer across the river is almost indescribable, but I will do my best to properly illustrate its horror:

If you were to imagine the smell of old fish that had been washed up on dry land for several weeks and for some reason a hawk decided to pluck if from the shore and use it to brush his beak after eating a rodent carcass and then drop that fish/rodent carcass hybrid into the opening of a rotten log that would later be rolled back into the same body of water from where the fish came and that fish was then eaten by a turtle that would later try to cross the flat black rock nearby only to be tragically hit and killed by shiny beasts who live on the flat black rock and left to bake on the black rock for several days before being collected by a human in a jumpsuit and taken to a place where humans in jumpsuits collect dead animals for some strange reason and then tossed into a vat filled with other dead animals (and cheese and rotten potatoes for some other strange reason), the stench of that culminate would be vaguely in the realm of how the deer across the river smells.

And the deer loves that it smells this way. Anytime I drink from the river the deer is sure to let me get a whiff. It stands ever so that the wind picks up the odor and delivers it directly to my nose (as much as I love the omnipresent wind, I often wonder if it conspires against me from time to time, corroborating with nefarious smells or perhaps even the deer). I do not know why the deer smells this way. I understand skunks and grilled meat snacks, but I do not understand how the deer can stand to be so smelly.

It makes me wonder if I also emit an offensive odor. If the deer has somehow gotten used to its own disgusting smell, perhaps I have gotten use to whatever smell I am putting out in the world.

If that were the case, however, someone would have told me by now. I have never been told I smell bad (the skunks would definitely tell me if they thought I was offensive to their what must be their delicate noses).

But the deer doesn’t seem to have any friends to tell him he smells.

There is a good reason for this. Perhaps he smells so horrendous because he has no friends. Or vice versa.

I am not going to tell him. He knows why. One day he will atone for the things he has done. And I will accept his strange smelling atonement. But until that day, the deer across the river will be alone in his smell.

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

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My smells: are they for everyone or just me?

the stink (2)

I spent quite some time yesterday with my snout buried inside the crevices of fur between my claws. Past coming up for the occasional gulp of fresh air, I kept my face in the center of the smell consistently for a long time.

I liked it.

The smell, that is. I really liked it. The fur that is nestled there relaxes me and makes me feel good about myself, my fur, and my claws.

Rob (the squirrel), however, disagreed. Rob (the squirrel) approached me while I was enjoying the smells emitting from my feet, and he was quickly disturbed by the image. He aggressively asked me what I was doing and why I was doing it. I explained, and he asked if he could have a whiff as well. I did not see the harm in sharing such an intoxicating fragrance, so I let him smell the fur between my claws.

His eyes watered.

His face went sour.

He ran up a tree, nearly slamming his head into it as he recklessly escaped the odor of my feet.

I was hurt, honestly. Why did he find my foot smells so repulsive when I found them so delightful. I continued to smell my claw-fur for awhile before I decided to investigate why my smells might have upset Rob (the squirrel).

I had to question whether or not my nose was a good judge of a smell’s character. Just because I liked the smell of something, did that mean it was a universally beloved smell? Did that smell have any kind of popular opinion behind it? Did every creature experience smell in a unique manner?

I had to survey.

I first asked a raccoon in a dumpster I frequent if the fur between my claws smelled good. He was hesitant to try sniffing them, and, in the end, wound up biting them before running away. This was useful data for other questions I have about the forest (example: do raccoons like me?), but it did little in helping me understand my smell dilemma.

I decided to ask a longtime foe of mine for his opinion. I figured if the deer across the river had even the slightest interest in my smells, then those smells must be generally acceptable to all creatures who are not terrible, disgusting beasts and, therefore, Rob (the squirrel) was merely an odd exception.

The deer across the river told me my smells are as pointless as bears are. I then spent some time staring at him while sniffing the fur between my claws simply to spite him.

Finally, I tried testing my bear aromas on some mice who had slept under my belly that morning. Surely they found my belly fur smells enjoyable, so they must have something to say on the subject. They told me they were too consumed by the warmth of my belly fur to notice its smell. I offered them a chance to smell my  belly again just to get their opinions, but they slowly backed away from me in unison upon the suggestion.

I like my smells.

I know they might not be for everyone in the forest, but I do enjoy them. Perhaps we all have different ways of smelling, though, which should make me feel like I do not need the approval for my smells that I so desperately seek. But I still feel the need for that approval.

I hope you like my smells.

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