Bear-foot Phobia

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
"Silly old Bear," said Christopher Robin. Truth slighly stretched.

Submitted: January 08, 2008

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Submitted: January 08, 2008

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Bear-foot Phobia


There is an Australian children’s show
who’s theme song goes –
‘There’s a Bear in there, and a chair as well.’

A chair is a handy thing to have
if you put yourself in a room
with a bear!
Better he chews on the chair
than on you.
All of which now reminds me –

Two places there are
where I don’t like to see bears:
in captivity –
and in the same space I intend to occupy.

No, I’m not talking
about Teddy Bears on beds;
or Winnie the Pooh lying discarded
on the nursery room floor.

I feel sad for bears in captivity –
any species at all–
caged, restrained,
pointed at,
gawked and mocked;
taught anthropomorphized antics
to entertain us –
cruel masters we.

But I’m also not too keen
on the other situation either.
I don’t mean bears in Yellowstone –
-
I’ve never been there anyway –
being fed by stupid tourists
opening their car windows
to share junk food,
and loosing hands and arms
to hungry ursine maws.
Those are irresponsible situations,
and frowned upon by Rangers,
as I understand it –
though much encouraged
by the bears themselves.

Actually, I mean those events
where Mr or Mrs Bear wishes to occupy
the very same space as I,
somewhere in their wild outdoors.
Possession being nine-tenths of the law –
both the ‘law of the jungle’
and the so-called ‘civilized’ kind –
I have given way to them
on three particular occasions.
Wisely I thought,
for why disturb and
crimp his style
while he is hungry,
or she has a cub or two at paw?

‘Don’t go into the woods today’
is an old, old warning regarding bears,
and has as much relevance now
as when the song was first sung –
pity I didn't learn the words when young.

I seem to attract bears.

Maybe it’s my looks –
I hope it isn’t the way I smell!
At any rate,
twice I’ve hiked in Maine’s
outback -
both times, unwisely,
at ripe wild-berry time.
I learned,
and not from the guide book either – thank you very much –
that hungry bears at
ripe wild-berry time
ALWAYS
have the right-of-way
on America’s Appalachian Trail!

Come to think of it –
the third ursine episode
also involved berries:
Strawberries this time.
In the summers of my youth,
after church in the village
all the teens would go out swimming;
then pick strawberries,
bring them back,
to pour over ice-cream and have a feast
while sitting in the park.
On one particular Sunday
a bear decided she was invited also.
Out of the woods she ambled,
crossed the road without a care for traffic –
which swiftly stopped politely –
and as it was not a Teddy Bears’ picnic,
she got all the strawberries and ice-cream
for herself,
while we removed enmass –
quite quickly as I recall –
to our pickup trucks and cars.

Two places I don’t like to see bears:
in captivity –
and in the same space I intend to occupy.

As I no longer live in a country inhabited
by ursine carnivores,
simultaneous occupation of spatial dimensions
is no longer such a worry –
though I’m reliably informed
that herbivorous Koala Bears have some
very anti-social habits of their own.
That leaves only zoos and TV shows,
and as I have no grandchildren - yet,
I don’t have to face bears again
for several peaceful years.
Nor will I have to sit in front of TV -
just yet -
with my grandkids on my lap
and be told repeatedly in song
that ‘there’s a bear in there’.

Please ! Don’t forget the chair!



James Gagiikwe 2008


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