The Bear's daughter, Ragan, presented him on his birthday this epic poem that captures something of what it is like to be the adored little girl of a real Bear.
by Ragan ("Ragsy") Black
Huddled round fires tucked close to each other
The children, with wide eyes then clung to their mother
“A BEAST,” cried their father, with a story teller’s flare
“A beast like no other was hiding in there,”
He had told of a cave he had found as a child
When he wandered too far from his camp in the wild.
“He stood 12 feet tall, with knife like claws,
with wild eyes and with teeth like saws!”
The children all gasped and began to exclaim
“Did you kill it?” “Da, how did you not get maimed?!”
With a confident chuckle, he scooped up his youngest
“Well your Da is no push over, tho this beast was humongous”
He told of a tale of this beast made of fright
And how he over came it and fled through the night
He, alone, had brought the beast down
And proudly had worn its skin through the town.
The boys were all ears, and looked quite captivated,
But his daughter smirked and looked, well, less persuaded.
“Da, if you really had taken its hide
then why’ve we never seen this pelt with our eyes?”
The man gave a frown, and he scratched in his hair.
He shrugged and said only “It’s ‘round here somewhere.”
The daughter then smiled and climbed on his knee.
“Well I know what I would’ve done were it me.”
The boys then snickered and jeered in her direction
But her father looked down with adoring affection.
“Would you hunt it down? Strong, like your old man?”
She shook her head ‘no’ and explained her plan.
“Well bears are quite greedy and seem to like to meat.
I’d try to trap it with something to eat!”
Her brothers all frowned and scratched their heads.
“You wouldn’t last one minute!” “You’d surely be dead!”
They eagerly then spoke of slaying the fiend
Their mother then scolded, their father just beamed.
Then set aside, the girl sat with a pout
“I’d survive some how. I’d figure it out.”
Night came to camp and mum put all to bed
With visions of bears running wild through each head.
“I really could, mama,” she tried to protest.
“Hush now, my dear. Let’s put it to rest.”
With a frown, she closed her still un-restful eyes
And waited for moon to be high in the sky.
All were asleep, but for a lone Misses Owl-
And one little girl! “I’ll show them some how.”
She slipped into her boots and a thick wool cap
And took biscuits in a tin, and her father’s wood ax
Everything she’d need, she was sure for the night
Everything she’d need, to win the fight.
Traipsing, sashaying, she started to stride
Sure she would have the beast’s head and its hide.
She searched through the thicket and all effort gave
Until finally, she found it! A shadowy cave.
She peered in with her eyes and she sniffed at the air
“Ah ha!” she was certain. Within dwelt a bear.
Candle in one hand and ax in the other,
She’d show her Da, and all her older brothers.
Her boots were silent, the cave carpeted with moss
It was warm inside, her cap she took off.
The cave went on forever, with turns left and right
And her candle it hardly gave off any light.
She pressed on, determined, filled with fiery spirit-
Then suddenly, a sound! Though she barely could hear it.
A clicking of sorts, or perhaps some sort of rapping
Repetitive, short bursts of some kind of tapping.
What a queer sound to hear inside this dark place
Confused, she pressed on, with a questioning face.
Just as her candle was near burnt down to nothing
Just as exhausted her face started flushing
It was just as the ax was now to much to carry
And just when this cave started looking too scary
In that moment where she huffed with a tired exhale
When her trembling knees started feeling too frail
The clicking then stopped and then- what would you know?
Ahead in the cave she saw a faint glow.
She clutched at her shirt with fright and confusion
A vision- a ghost? Or just an illusion?
And then a sound- Though not a sound like a bear
A voice up ahead: “. . . Is there someone there?”
The voice was a rough one, though calm and collected
Timid perhaps, not what she expected.
She peeked ‘round the edge of the next cave wall
And will never forget what next she saw.
Her eyes grew wide with alarm and surprise
She couldn’t believe what she saw with her own eyes.
A bear. Yes a bear. A bear’s what it was
Though it hardly looked frightening, and hardly had claws.
Brown and quite large, though of the eyes she was skeptical
For the bear on its nose, it was wearing some spectacles .
It had fit its great girth in a large leather chair
Every inch of its massive form covered with hair.
In front of the bear was a desk, it looked wooden
And on it- she couldn’t believe it- she couldn’t
A typewriter-dwarfed by the size of this beast
And a fresh stack of paper- easily within reach.
The moss carpet continued as sort of a floor
It seemed unbelievable but wait there’s more!
Near by on some stones was a kitchen of sorts
A kettle, and also an ironing board.
The bear had a bed and a collection of books
Not like any other bear by the looks.
He peered at the girl with confusion at best
She gaped with wonder arms crossed over her chest
“Aren’t you a bear?” she asked with indignation
“Why yes, I suppose, by my own calculation.”
The voice was the same that had spoken before
She recognized it there was no question any more.
This beast that could talk- this beast that could write?
Surely not the same beast she sought earlier that night.
“Are you a fan?” the bear asked with a smile.
The girl shrugged with confusion, shook her head with denial.
“Of bears?” she asked- stunned by this dialogue.
“Well that of course too- but no, I meant of my blog.”
The girl was filled now with disconcertion.
“I don’t typically see most of my fans here in person.”
The bear questioned again; “Are you here for commission?”
“Or perhaps for a autographed collector’s edition?”
She looked at the typewriter and then at the writing
And suddenly everything seemed less frightening.
“You write for a living- an author or sorts.”
“Yes- I run a blog, and write novels and shorts.”
Head tilted and now with her hands folded neatly;
“You’re not going to attack or try to eat me?”
With a sigh and a frown, the bear then looked so alone.
“Oh,” he then said. “I see you’re one of those.”
“You think because I’m a bear I must be quite vicious,
But you see, humans aren’t so nutritious.
I’d rather sardines and a nice cup of tea.
I’m civilized- an artist- just wait, you’ll see.”
He handed her a book- it was small, it seemed short.
“A collection of letters- some ramblings of sort.”
She opened the book, eyes wide and curious.
The bear gave a smile and seemed to feel victorious.
“In time when you’ve read it you’ll then understand-
A bear can be just as well spoken as man.”
Then sheepishly, he reached on his desk for a hat.
He held it out for her and then he gave it a pat.
Payment! She searched her pockets and found within
Only the biscuits she’d packed in the tin.
With the tin in the hat, he said “That’ll do fine.”
“Tho typically that one is 10.99”
“Are all bears like you? So kind and so smart?”
“Any bear could be, born with poet’s heart.
A good author could come from- well, anywhere?
Why just from men, why not from a bear?
And where else could an author be found in this world?
Why- the next one may just be from one little girl.”
With a furry paw on her shoulders and a knowing smile
The bear asked if she could stay for a while.
The girl explained her family would wake soon for dawn.
“Well,” he said with a smile. “It’s best you get gone.”
She curtsied politely and started to ask;
“Would you believe me if I said I came with an axe?”
He chuckled and said “All is forgiven.
We have to forgive in this world that we live in.
But read the book, please and read all you can find
Always with open heart and with open mind.”
And then he said one last thing with a yawn.
“And I wouldn’t mind a 5* review on Amazon.”
He gave her a lantern and thanked her for her visit,
And complimented her mother’s recipe for biscuits.
With a mind full of questions and smile on her face
She made her way slowly back out of that place.
The way out was clear- she found it just fine.
And the sun would be rising in almost no time.
“Bears,” she said softly “Are not all that they seem.”
She snuck back to camp and fell into dream.
Her mother awoke her like any other day
Her father made breakfast in his usual way.
Her brothers were grouchy, begging for more sleep
And she asked herself if this was a secret to keep?
She didn’t want her da to go after the bear
And decided it best that he remain unaware.
With a smug little smile, she ate with the others
Taking her book out from under her covers.
The book- she still had it! She really had seen it!
The bear- with his writings, she hadn’t just dreamed it
And what had he said of an author to be,
It could be one little girl- “He meant it could be me!”
With a smile, she clutched the book close to her chest
“I’ll do it! A writer- I’ll be one of the best!”
With tears in her eyes a wide, sunny smile,
First she decided she’d read for a while.
The car ride home was silent, it seemed.
Her parents spoke calmly, her brothers all dreamed.
She in the back, was more than content
To read for hours- and hours she spent.
The book she had finished by the time they were home,
That book was done. Time to start her own.
But before she began to write her own story-
She first had to to tell others her ‘allegory’
Under the guise of a sweet work of rhyme
She shared with others, the tale of a time,
When a bear who was kind, took her under his wing
And taught her of books and of writings and things.
Once that was all finished, she knew what to do,
She copied it into a Five Star Review.
She used buzz words and lingo with high SEO
All things young hipster girls like her would know.
In just a few years, she soon filled a shelf!
Everything the bear had written she bought for herself.
A book’s like an old friend, she’d heard people say
Each page took her back to remembering that day
The night she held to herself so dear,
The night that inspired her writing career.
For inspiring her in the way that writers do,
To the bear she could never enough say ‘thank you.’