"Bear is very fast," he answered innocently.
The saint chuckled. "Don't make me laugh with Lent so close, my big clown. To fast means not to eat."
"How long does this Lent last," asked the Bear.
"Forty days and forty nights. That's how long Our Lord Jesus fasted in the desert."
The Bear thought it over. "Bear could go forty days without eating when he takes the Winter Sleep, but he just finished that."
"Of course you can still eat! But you must not eat as much, or eat certain things that you give up. Your sacrifice pleases the Good God and makes you stronger inside."
"Bear would like to please Our Lord Jesus," the Bear said. "Very well. Bear shall give up flesh."
"That's what men do, but I though it might be too hard on a bear," the saint answered.
St. Corbinian looked slightly amused. "Anything else?"
"Honey. Bear likes honey very much."
Then the old saint closed his eyes and recited from memory.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, "This man began to build, and was not able to finish"A parable of Our Lord Jesus from the Gospel of Luke."
The Bear snorted with impatience. "Bear never understands those parables."
"I think you will this one," St. Corbinian replied with a twinkle in his eye. "It is customary for the abbot to approve each brother's Lenten discipline. I approve yours, Bear. May you learn much. And what alms do you intend to give? Help to those less fortunate?"
The Bear thought for several minutes. "I will give wild flesh and fish to the poorest of the villagers," the Bear announced proudly.
"Very well, Bear, meet me back here in one half month. Then we'll find out how well you're doing. And don't forget to pray. Fasting without prayer is the Devil's fast."