|Memorial to Martyred Bruno|
Bruno was a bear. He wandered across the Alps from Italy into Bavaria in 2006. Bears are thin on the ground in Germany these days, so at first he was welcomed. But then the Germans were shocked to learn that bears are not cuddly toys full of stuffing. Bruno did real bear stuff.
He turned over the trash. (Well, boo-hoo.) He ate some sheep. (Sure, blame the bear for shepherds' negligence.) He might have even eaten a horse, but they never proved it. Anyway, since when do we kill bears for feeding as God designed them to? What's a few sheep next to a magnificent Ursus Arctos?
Bavarian Governor Edmund Stoiber declared Bruno to be a "problem bear." An enemy of the state. Crack Finnish bear-hunters were flown in to take Bruno out. But the wiley Bruno eluded them.
The story does not end happily. Bruno was shot in June, 2006. There was much mourning in Bavaria, or at least some opportunistic marketing. Cars sported black pennants on their antennas featuring a bear's paw.
Not content to take his life, they stole his dignity by having him stuffed. Today Bruno can be seen forever attacking a beehive at the ironically-named Museum of Man and Nature in Munich. He's next to the last bear seen in Bavaria before Bruno. He was shot in 1835.
So, the next time you hear a German complaining, "O my, vere are all der bears?" look him right in the eye and say, "Ask Bruno."