Tag Archives: tree

It can be hard to learn from the forest.

Everything that happens presents an opportunity to learn something new. When I climbed a tree after a storm, I learned that some branches are not meant to be put through trials of wind and bear weight back-to-back. When squirrels made shrill, mocking sounds at me when the tree branch broke, I learned that not all creatures in the forest have an investment in your well being or the well being of tree branches. And when I realized I had landed on an anthill, I learned that ants are fast and angry and bite so much.

That was all useful information to have, and I did certainly enjoy the process of learning new things in the forest. It feels good to feel enlightened after a good learning. It feels good to be a new, better informed bear than the bear you were just moments ago. It feels good to expand your bearness through forest experiences. It really does.

Until it does not feel good.

Sometimes the forest teaches crucial lessons in challenging, angry ways, and when it does, it does not feel good to learn from the forest. It is awful actually.

A bird shoved its beak into my eye. That had never happened before. I suppose, in a way, I learned that such a scenario was possible, but I do not know if I really needed to learn that such a scenario was possible. Maybe the growth of my bearness was so small that I had a hard time perceiving it, but I did not feel like any more of a bear for knowing the possibility of a bird piercing my eye. My bearness did not feel expanded. The only thing I did feel was a horrible throbbing sensation in my eye, which made it difficult to see for a few days.

Plenty of treacherous things like that happen in the forest everyday. Branches break and land on you. Wind kicks up dirt that blinds you. Humans shout at you. Dumpster lids land on your paws. Fish bite back. In a misguided attempt to intimidate, you get too close to the deer across the river’s antlers and he reacts in a very disrespectful but, honestly, understandable manner. Parts of your insides make a snapping sound and a ripping sound and another sound you are unable to describe but can definitely feel because of the deer’s reaction.

All of those things have lessons to teach. They provide forest wisdom in some way or another. You get to know more about yourself or the place you live in or other creatures. I do not know if any of those lessons are worth experiencing those things, though. It can be hard to see their value. It can be hard to figure out why the forest would even bother letting you experience those things. It can be hard to learn from 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 Facebook.

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Even more human questions, bear answers.

Hello, I am a bear. I asked some humans if they wanted to ask me, a bear, some things. Here are some of the questions I answered from said humans. If you are a human who asked me something and I did not get to your question, I am sorry. I am sure it was a lovely question, and maybe if you ask again I might answer it? I do not know. I am sorry. Anyway, here are some questions and the answers I had for them:

Q:

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A: I do not have a set goal of the number of things I plan on sniffing during a given day, but I do try to sniff as many things as possible. There are just so many lovely smells to enjoy, so I do not like to limit myself with a set number of sniffing occasions.

Q:

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A: Berries, sticks, acorns, fish, very small rocks, leaves, discarded sauce-covered napkins, various dumpster findings, marshmallows, and anything I can find in a dumpster that is not claimed by angry raccoons or opossums. Spaghetti is good, too, but it is hard to come by. I once visited a place filled with humans who were all eating spaghetti and they yelled at me until I left. I did not get to enjoy any spaghetti.

Q:

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A: Might I suggest donning the finest pile of leaves and plastic bags you can find? I am not sure this will be appropriate attire since I do not know what a prom is, but I think I look quite fashionable when I wear leaves and plastic bags.

Q:

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A: I prefer the kind of honey that does not leave me with several stings on my nose and in my mouth. Would that be Orange Blossom? Does that one involve fewer stings and less pain and embarrassment?

Q:

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A: I have, but clouds seem to be quite fickle. Just when I think I am making a great impression on one, it decides to float away or turn grey. I wish I knew the secret to making friends with them. They are very interesting. And they look soft.

Q:

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A: Hide.

Q:

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A: I do not know what a zombie or an apocalypse are, but if me being a bear will help you, then I would certainly consider joining you. Will there be opportunities for naps and/or extended naps? Will snacks be provided? I am a bear.

Q:

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A: My only advice for GingerDog is to accept the inevitable horror that comes with deer being involved in your life in any capacity. There is nothing you can do. No amount of reaching our or wishing ill or trying to reconcile or spitting will take care of it. Deer will be there. No matter what.

Q:

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A: All kinds. All kinds of squirrels are very mean. I do not know why. Though sometimes I wonder if they are not mean but, rather, they have particular dispositions and my particular disposition does not get along with their particular dispositions. Or they are mean?

Q:

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A: Rob (the squirrel)’s only purpose is to be Rob (the squirrel), I think. I am sure he does that all of the time.

Q: 

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A: In no particular order:

  • Green snake
  • Brown snake
  • Other green snake

Q:

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A: I think about being a bear. Sometimes I just stare? I am a bear.

Q:

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A: Trees are certainly great for scratching any part of my body that itches. But their usefulness extends far beyond this. Trees give me shade. They provide food. And they are wonderful listeners.

Qs: 
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A: I do not know how many bears make a family of bears, but I am a single bear because I am just one, single bear. I am a bear. Just the one bear. There are more bears, I think, probably, but I do not know them, and I am just one of them. 

Q:

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A: Thank you for noticing. I put quite a bit of work into keeping my ears in pristine condition. In order to keep their volume and roundness, I rub my ears in the dirt for several minutes and then use pinecones to fluff them up. Also, belly rubs are wonderful.

Q: 

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A: I do not think one is objectively better than the other. I like all food and food-related products, be them sweet, savory, sour, smelly, or otherwise. I am a bear.

Q: 

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A: While their plumage is quite stylish, birds do not make very good hats. Instead, I would suggest using sticks and leaves to accessorize your ensemble.

Q:

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A: I have a very storied relationship with birds. My interactions with them have ranged from pleasant (that time those baby birds took temporary residence in my belly fur) to awful (whenever those mean robins laugh at me when I trip and fall). It is hard to really pinpoint how I feel about birds as a whole. I form my opinion on them on a bird-by-bird basis. I am a bear.

Q:

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A: I certainly hope so. I have no desire to test this, however.

Q:

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A: There is no “deal” when it comes to snakes. They are horrible creatures and they frighten me to no end. Have you seen them run? They have no legs, but they can run. It takes me four legs to run. I do not know why they exist, and I am certain they hate me.

Q:

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A: I do not know what most of this questions means, but have you tried looking in dumpsters? I usually look for things in dumpsters because there are so many things in dumpsters. You could try big rocks, too. There are lots of things under big rocks.

Q:

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A: 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.

Something happened to the eggs I found.

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Today, I found some little eggs and put them on a soft pile of dirt and stuff in my cave and put leaves on top of them for warmth. I liked them all. They were all very similar looking but somehow also all unique in their own ways. I spent the day watching over the eggs, studying their tiny, minute differences and trying to understand where they were from and where they were going. I also named them. Trashcan was the one with the tiny scratch mark on the bottom half of the oval. Pinecone was, in my opinion, the pointiest one. And Tree was the most charismatic one.

I liked all of the eggs I found, and I had a great day getting to know them until very recently when something very terrible happened to them.

I had left my cave for awhile to enjoy the cool winds that were gliding through the forest. After letting my fur get a nice puffy aesthetic, I decided to go back to my cave to check in on my new responsibilities.

That is how seriously I was taking getting to know my eggs. See? I even called them my eggs. I expected these eggs to be a crucial part of life, even after having known them for just a morning. I had plans and visions of me taking care of them and ensuring their egg-ness for as long as eggs happen to be eggs. I was excited. I was looking forward to my life with the eggs.

When I got back to my cave, one was broken.

Trashcan was split asunder, his top bits spread about the tiny nest I had made. His gooey innards were spread about the nest. I was horrified.

My initial investigation led me to a theory involving ghosts. Nothing else made sense. But then Pinecone began to tremble. The ghosts were about to strike again, I initially thought.

Before I could ask Pinecone what was wrong, a bird swooped into my cave. It shrieked at me and pecked at my eyes and bit me and made me really upset. Then the bird grasped Pinecone and flew off.

I was so traumatized by what was going on that when I looked at Tree, it took a moment to realize that she, too, was trembling and shaking violently. I sat, shaken from the loss, and stared at Tree.

A tiny, featherless bird burst through the egg, sending shards of egg all about the nest. It made weak sounding chirps.

I knew then that I was fooling myself by coveting the eggs and hoping they would never do what eggs always do: burst into tiny birds and reptiles.

The large bird swooped in once more. With less pecking and shrieking, it grabbed Tree’s innards (a tiny bird) and flew away.

I have had a difficult, weird 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. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on the book of faces.