Tag Archives: the forest

A brief list of things that have made me happy recently.


Hello, I am a bear. Here is a brief list of things that have made me quite happy recently:

  • Sticks
  • Water
  • When I can see the moon and the sun at the same time and they are not fighting as I would otherwise expect
  • Naming trees
  • Taking back the names I have given trees because I am not sure if they already have names, and it seems rude to simply assume
  • A very tall bird I saw
  • The sky not getting any closer or farther away but instead just staying right where it has always been
  • Not knowing how many frogs there are (what a mystery that will remain)
  • Having a good idea of how many of me there are (just the one, I believe)
  • (but what if there is another one of me somewhere?)
  • (and I don’t know that one of me?)
  • (and that me is just walking about the forest, looking for a version of himself)
  • (and we are just wandering the forest, not finding what we think we need to find and also not knowing if we even can find what we think we need to find)
  • (oh no, this list has gotten sad, this is a very upsetting idea)
  • (I need to refocus this list and share another thing that made me happy recently)
  • Mud
  • (that was not very good as I like mud, but I have not had any happy experiences with mud recently)
  • More sticks
  • (I am still stuck on this possible wandering version of me who is aimlessly trudging throughout the forest, hoping to get even the slightest glimpse of me, the other bear that this bear might be, this is so upsetting to me)
  • Some berries I ate
  • (maybe if I leave some berries near my cave they will attract the other bear, giving this bear a sign that I am another bear waiting to meet him or maybe he will simply eat them and walk away)
  • The smell of my paws
  • Sleeping

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? The newest adventure is all about safety!

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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A bird dropped a stick on me. Why?


The sky is known for dropping two things on a regular basis: leaves and rain. Those two things fall from some unknown aspect of the sky, an invisible, seemingly random agent of the clouds above with the help of the chaos of the wind.

So when things other than rain and leaves fall onto my head from on high, I know it is most likely not by way of the sky or the wind. The usual culprit is a squirrel. Squirrels love to throw things at me. I am not sure why, but they do it frequently enough that my thought process of things dropping on to my head works on a simple flow chart. Was it a leaf or rain? Probably the sky. Something else entirely? Probably a squirrel.

With so much experience in the ways of things being thrown at me from high above, I have generally held the belief that there is no way something new can happen in those terms. To my surprise, there was at least one more thing that could happen to me when it comes to stuff falling on my head: a bird.

I saw a bird drop a stick on me. I must be specific here. I saw this bird drop a stick on me. It was not as though a stick hit me and then I looked up and saw a bird and assumed. I saw this bird. It was as though the bird delivering the stick directly to my head. It hit the mark, too. The stick hit my ears and bounced off my fluffy fur, hitting the forest floor with the slightest of thuds.

Why?

Why did this bird drop a stick on me? It has been something I have been trying to figure out ever since. Was it really just delivering the stick to me? Did the bird see that I had dropped this stick somewhere and just wanted me to have it back? I did not recognize the stick, but I suppose it was possible.

Did the bird intend to hurt me? Was the stick a pointy painful projectile meant to do harm?

Was my head a future nesting place for the bird? Are more sticks to come?

There is no way to know, and there might not ever be a way to know. This is the truly hard part of this strange occurrence. There are no answers. There are no reasons. I suppose that happens a lot in the forest. Random, strange things happen frequently, and those who have the things happen to them are left to put the mystery together only to realize it is essentially impossible.

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? The newest adventure is all about safety!

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.

Every place is scary or too mean.


I worry that I hide myself from the greater expanses of the forest too much. I spend a great deal of time in my cave or near the river I like or by the dumpsters I frequent or in the most familiar patches of grass and dirt I know. Rarely do I traverse beyond my known routine, and when I do, it is usually because of an enticing smell or a terrifying sound or an interesting looking rock.

Generally, I am okay with my regular outings, but when I do worry about my routines, I worry about if I am missing out on something. I worry that there are grand, engaging experiences throughout the forest that I miss simply because I am too scared or comfortable to reach them. Experiences missed simply by virtue of proximity (or lack thereof). The forest does not do much to inform me about the possibilities of these events and experiences. There is no master forest schedule that I am aware of (though I have certainly entertained the idea of squirrels having and/or knowing of such a thing and actively hiding it from me for no reason beyond meaningless spite on their part).

When the worry outgrows my desire for comfort and safety, though, I begin to think about how or why I do not search new, exciting things.

And then it all comes back.

Every awful experience I have ever had that happened because of my leaving my routine.

The time I got locked in a dumpster and then some humans sprayed stinging mist at me and tipped the dumpster over so I rolled out? That happened because I tried a new dumpster, one I had never been to but had an incredibly smell to it I wanted to investigate. Blinded by the awful mist, I ran through the forest wildly until I eventually hit a tree and napped until the sun was up.

Or how about the time I tried to enjoy the offerings of a human lake? The water ended up burning my eyes, and the humans who lived near the lake sprayed more awful mist at me (you can guess what I did afterward).

Then there is the long, flat black rock. I have followed it far beyond my cave before to end up finding nothing new or of interest. Just more forest and smashed raccoons. A sad, difficult rock that seems to exist only to crush unsuspecting forest creatures. It was a sight I could have lived without experiencing.

There have been good times found far and beyond my cave, though. I once found a very cool and fish abundant part of the river I go to. I followed it upstream until I was able to see more fish through the water than I had ever seen. I jumped in. The water so cooler than I had ever remembered the river being. The fish were so plentiful that even my slow, uncoordinated paws were able to catch them. It was nice. And I would not have experienced it without going outside of my comfortable routine. Are the plentiful fish worth the potential of stinging mist, though? I do not know, but for now, I suppose I will go where my bearness leads me, whether it be the comfort of my cave or some new, terrifying adventure.

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? The newest adventure is all about safety!

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 fell into a hole I dug.

Digging is one of the more fun activities anybody can do in the forest. If you have movable limbs that are harder than soft soil, you can dig, and you should dig. The rush of cool soil lining the creases of fur between toes makes digging worth the effort and energy.

I learned recently, though, that reckless digging can have some harsh consequences.

I have no idea when I dug the hole that swallowed me whole. It must have been me, however. There is no other creature in the forest who can dig as big of a hole as I can (as you might be able to guess, I tried to blame the deer across the river, but his hooves are more likely to be used to judge me rather a fun activity like digging). I found the hole through a simple walk in the forest. I was staring up at the sky, admiring the clouds and the sun and the tops of trees, and then it got quite dark suddenly. Before I could figure out why, I was in a hole.

At first, I growled at the soil around me. Surely it was the soil’s fault, the fault of the forest, the fault of everything around me. I growled at the darkened sky, blaming its erratic and senseless change. I growled at everything I thought could be held accountable in even the slightest manner.

Then I growled at myself. It was then I realized who could have dug a hole so large and so randomly. It was my fault. It was my fault that this hole in the forest had tried to eat me, I practically fed myself to it with my irresponsible digging. There was no reason to take out my anger on the forest. The forest had not done anything. I wanted it to have done something. It would have been easier if the forest had done something wrong to me, but it had not. It was just me.

Once I got back on my paws, I shuffled out of the hole and got back to the safety of the forest floor. It was bright again. I shook off the dust from my fur and continued walking, heading to nowhere in particular but filled with a want to do better, whatever that meant for me, 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? The newest adventure is all about safety!

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.

Sing me your song, dumpster-bird.


Sing me your song, dumpster-bird,
and tell me what you must have heard.
What is it that you fret?
Is anything a threat?

Do you get a shiver
from the deer across the river?
Or give a second take
to every single snake?

Do you think about what worries me?
How one day I simply might not be
the thing I have always been,
a bear in all my where and when?

What happens when your birdness goes?
And you lose your dumpster sows?
Does the thought sit in your brain
just as a permanent stain?

Or maybe you do not care
about birdness or that I am a bear.
You enjoy your dumpster treats
and ignore where your end meets.

How do I do it, my trash-friend?
How do I endure the harsh wind
of doubtful, haunting thinking
that feels ever so sinking?

Sing me your song, dumpster-bird,
and help me feel assured
that forest life is fine
as long as I have mine.

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? The newest adventure is all about safety!

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 bear I might become.


I am not sure what kind of bear I am supposed to be (I do not even know if I am supposed to be a bear, really, but that is another topic all together). That worries me occasionally as I have noted before: what if I am doing bearness wrong? There is another issue that grows from that moldy idea resting in my bear mind: what kind of bear am I supposed to become?

Not doing bearness right in the current moment is fixable, I suppose, but that fixing is very dependent on my knowing what kind of bear I want to be. When I think about that, I usually do not have an answer. I am a bear. And I want to be a bear. That should be good enough, but I still feel a strange push from myself to define my bearness, my being a bear. I feel a need to know what kind of bear I am and what kind of bear I want to become.

When I think of the kind of bear I have been, it does not help matters. Most of my past bearness is me being okay with being a bear and that is all. I liked being a bear because I was a bear. There was no need to categorize my bearness.

I am a bear, so I am a bear.

At least, that is how it used to be.

As I continue being a bear, however, that need to define and categorize and further understand my being a bear grows. And its growth always brings frustration because I have no answers that satisfy the need. I am a bear is all I have on the topic, and I believe I will be a bear is all I can predict about the topic. I hope the bear I am is the kind of bear I need to be later.

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? The newest adventure is all about safety!

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 to feel safe in the forest.


The forest is insanely, chaotically, erratically dangerous. There are so many things that can eat you. So many things that can burn you. So many things that can make horrible screeching sounds at you. So many things that might mock you just because you accidentally tripped on a rock and rolled into some mud and then decided to sleep there because why not? It was comfortable.

Since there are so many threats in daily forest life, it can be difficult to find comfort and solace in even the briefest of moments. Usually, I am on edge. I feel like I have to be prepared for anything the forest might hurl at my defenseless fuzzy fur. Practically speaking, there is no way to avoid anything the forest wants to do to you. If something in the forest wants you hurt or humiliated or nonexisted, it will likely happen.

But that does not mean you cannot at least feel safe. It is important part of living in the forest: convincing yourself that you are safe from its intrinsic dangers and thrashing. Here is a brief list of ways I make myself feel safe. Please be aware, these things might not actually make you safe in the forest, they certainly make me no safer, but they do make me feel safe (for a list of ways to actually feel safe in the forest, please refer to my guide: Here are 100 tips on how to stay safe in the forest).

How to feel safe in the forest: 

  • Place soft leaves on head
  • Sleep under something heavy (rock, log, etc.)
  • Ask a neighbor to watch over you as you sleep and hope that you do not ask the raccoon I asked because she just bit my face and scratched me while I was asleep and that was not nice or neighborly
  • Find a very nice cloud and stare at it and pretend everything else happening around you is not happening, even the clawing and biting of a vicious raccoon, why did you do this to me, raccoon? That was not nice
  • Make fun sounds
  • Try walking backwards so you will not need to face the horrors of the forest
  • Pretend the hawk you saw was actually very friendly
  • Ignore the dead frog you saw hanging on a stick, being eaten by so many ants
  • Did they eat him while he was alive? There is no way to know so try not to ever think about it
  • Do not think
  • About
  • The
  • Frog
  • Listen to the calming sounds the forest has to offer: the gentler breezes, the soothing crickets, the
  • sound of infinite ants eating a frog as he desperately tries to escape and
  • Ignore those sounds, those are bad sounds that will not help you feel safe
  • Avoid shadows since there might be snakes in them
  • Keep your eyes closed
  • Never open them
  • Ever

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.