The Doorway Part Two by Sara Wright


When I look into his face

I wonder

what he is thinking

as he loses himself

in sweet mountain mist.

He’s alone now.

His fear of the unknown

keeps him vigilant

ears erect,

mouth tasting air

standing on two legs to see

beyond summer’s diaphanous veil.

No wonder he climbs trees.

 

He’s not yet two.

Did she warn him

about the others

before she left?

Two legged threats armed

with hatred,

the need to destroy life

men addicted to power,

who will gladly spew fire

through his gut,

strike out an eye, maim a paw

so he cannot flee?

He slaps at chipmunks

in repose,

scents fragrant white lilacs

clasps a metal can to his belly,

kicks it down the hill in play.

He bounds

towards the brook

for a bath,

circles back for protection

takes a nap

in a thicket of

young pines.

 

He tolerates me

if not as friend

at least as one

who wishes him

no harm.

He peers around

rough bark like a child

playing hide and seek.

He’s curious to identify

to whom I am speaking.

He listens intently

when I caution him

like an anxious mother.

Do not trust.

Do not trust them.

I am the exception

to the rule.

 

Most want him dead

Skinned and hung –

a furry black skeleton –

a shroud on the wall,

his jaws forever frozen

in an impossible roar.

 

Always present,

Death stands at his door.

Working Notes:

Black bears are much maligned and when one befriends one it is hard to understand why these animals are so feared. They evolved with trees as a prey animal and remain this way today. In truth they are immensely curious and shy animals and the hardest part of trying to study them in the wild is finding one who will tolerate my presence.

Early in the spring the young – yearlings – are tolerant of me, but by this time of year they have had enough terrifying experiences with the men around here to turn them into “night bears”. They no longer trust me.

In between there are moments of grace. TB loves to smell lilac blossoms, and gets irritable when brazen chipmunks or mice wish to share his food. He loves rubber balls but punctures them immediately. He plays with sticks and pulls tree branches up on his belly, plays hide and seek with me.

Although the transition from day to night bears signifies the negative experiences these animals have had with others – around here – men who use semi-automatic blasts to terrify and wound them illegally – and hunting season draws near, I have at least had moments that we shared in peace, and for that I must be grateful.

 

**This is Part Two of a two piece series see Part One here.

 

 

Sara is a naturalist, ethologist ( a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Northern New Mexico.

 



Categories: animals, Feminism, Feminism and Religion, General, Nature

Tags: , , , , ,

10 replies

  1. Oh, that’s my hope too Carol… but these days its almost impossible to be a bear…

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  2. He is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing him with us.

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  3. I’m glad you’re talking to your friend and he’s listening.I hope the bear survives, too. I hope all bears and other wild things survive. I think hunting for “sport” is stupid-stupid-stupid. Just like the men who put heads and antlers on their walls, trophies of murder. Here in SoCal, people have built their mcmansions in what had been wild places, so the bears and coyotes have to come into people’s neighborhoods to find food. If what I see on the TV news is correct, these visitors are more often tranquilized and carried home than shot.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Don’t believe them Barbara. State wildlifw agencies routinely lie about killing these animals. I learned this the hard way by becoming state wildlife rehab person. That’s when I learned the truth.

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  5. What a beautiful portrait of Tree Bear. Heart and prayers with you both!

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  6. I’ve never understood the blood lust – the urge to kill an innocent creature. When my husband and I were wildlife rehabilitators we too learned that the game wardens in Maine didn’t care about animals. They just wanted to make sure the animals didn’t pose a threat to humans and that there were enough deer, moose, bears, and turkeys to satisfy the hunters. It is shameful and awful! I hope and pray that Tree Bear survives.

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    • Oh dear – you know the truth too – the problem is that most people buy in to that save the wildlife myth – every time I see one of their plates on a car i want to throw up. And I write about these organizations hoping to reach more people.

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