domingo, 16 de enero de 2011

The Bears and their housies

The mother bear when she was older than 20,000 days, yes that old, realized her children were goblins. She noticed when they came back to her house for a visit. The large grown children stomped upstairs and crashed the boxes around- until she realized " they are goblins! These are not bears, they are goblins".  But they were good goblins. Good  to their small goblin child and good to their own father and mother bear, so she did not worry.

Many years ago the bear parents were strong and dreamy. They looked at the ground and dreamed of zuchinnis, okra, tomatoes, melons and all kinds of vegetables  they liked to eat and " poof" enormous plants grew to the sky.  Then they  walked deeper into the forest away from the sun until they found the perfect spot.  "oh" sighed mother bear. "Yes, " agreed father bear and they hugged in the forest.  As their children played in the garden the two bears walked together. They drew long straight lines in the earth. " no" said the mother bear. " hmmmm- no " said the father bear. The children darted in and out of the long shadows of the garden plants. The sun was setting. In the woods on their long porch the mother and father bear looked around at the giant house they had dreamed. " Shall we call in the children for supper? " mother bear said.

The children ate fondu with long sticks and slowly chewed carrots and grapes. Very quickly they grew big and soon they were gone. All the bear children went very far away as they explored the world and learned to dream themselves. The oldest bear dreamed herself onto a plane- sat politely sipping tea as it flew her across the ocean. She landed in London and there she stayed in a small house just right for her. Once she dreamed of another bear and she woke up, he was there. He had dreamed of his own bear and it was she. These bears loved to play and drink beer. They were silly bears.

The next oldest bear dreamed in circles and slowly looped away from the house. She dreamed of something she could not see- a feeling of perfect satisfaction. This bear while asleep would dream of cats and teapots and cakes and when she awoke she would find these things clustered all over the house and say  "shoo" and push away the cakes and put away the the teapots. But the best cats would not leave her and stayed to watch her, and the cakes were sweet as the middle bear grew more and more satisfied. She nibbled on a carrot one day and "poof" dreamed her own house. "why not?" she said " I mean I don't love it" but inside her the satisfaction sighed and grew.

The third bear had a desire to always see new things and could not walk in a straight line.  So this bear was always left or right of where she intended to go. One day this bear realized how easy dreaming in a straight way could be. She sat right where she was and dreamed a house. Snow covered it. Somehow it was another bear's house and he invited her in.

The littlest bear dreamed of the ocean.  She opened her eyes and it stretched out in front of her. " How beautiful" she said and took pictures and blew on them to make them shine. She stuck her shining pictures all over her house and smiled at night.  In the morning she blinked and dreamed a family. "Mama!" said the littlest bear. "Mom!" shouted the older bear child. "Hello" said their father. The family paw in paw admired the shining pictures. Then walked to the ocean as the sun set. " How nice", said the third bear. Her children raced away and the mother and father bear sat down in the warm sand.

The four grown bear children's dreams shifted and went everywhere. They dreamed new houses then blinked them away for different houses as their desires shifted. However, the mother and father bear kept their original two dreams. The trees around their house in the woods remained tall and beautiful.
The house remained as perfect as it ever was to them. But they noticed the roof leaked here and there. They noticed the wind had blown down bits and edges at the corners while they had been in the warm center sipping tea and reading stories.  Then, the wind blew a tree branch right through a window. It crashed onto mother bear in her bed.

She growled and cried, and her wounds would not heal. The father bear grew sad and grizzled. From then on, the mother bear ran a small silver bell when she wanted her tea and toast, and the garden shriveled and sank back into the ground.

Now the father had to walk in to town to buy beets and meats and carrots and ingredients for pie. As he rolled the dough a tear or two might fall.  "This is salty" the mother bear would say. " Yes" said the father bear as they ate their pie by the bed.

The children said " Come be with us. There are small houses waiting for you at the end of each of our driveways. "  However, the old bears could not leave their dream. They loved it even though it was no longer as magnificent as when they were young and powerful dreamers. They did not want to leave.

However, the wind continued to whistle into their house.  Hungry wolves smelling their sadness and their meat pies gathered, and paced around the house. Over the years the wolves made a deep track around the house. "Shoo" the father bear would say, flinging a chunk of wood at them.  The hungry wolves would leap on it and it would turn to meat when it touched their mouths.

Fed like this, on bits of meat, the wolves did not storm the house. But ever they paced. The path grew deeper.

Their snarls would wake the dreaming mother. She would set aside her strong tea as sweet smoke coiled around her head to dull the pain. " I hear wolves again!" she would shout.

"shoo" said the father bear. He flung his chunks of wood.

The house started to tip and lean, unbalanced by the movement of displaced earth caused by the wolves deep tracks.

Far away the grown up bear children, none living in the woods, hummed and sang and drove cars and played with their friends and children.  Their dreams were nearly complete, and wrapped around them.

One day a wolf hunter in a black hat found the bit of forest where father and mother bear lived. His eyes gleamed at the sight of all those wolves. He raised his black gun. "Bang, Bang, Bang!" He shot the wolves. Smoke drifted in the silent air. The hunter cut down two trees and made a bridge over the steep moat surrounding the house. "Hello" he said.  The bears let him in and gave him tea.  The hunter stayed. He hunted deer and rabbit and gave the bears meat for their pies.  With no wolves about both the bears were more content. "How did this happen " they mused. "So many wolves...."   The father bear filled in the moat. The mother bear sewed wolfskin rugs.

The hunter walked here and there. " What a beautiful place" said the hunter thinking of the deer leaping away from him that morning. "This place is just right for me" he said. "That is what we said a long time ago" said the bears.  "That is what we still say" murmured the bears.

The bears and the hunter watched a cardinal hop from branch to branch. They smelled the air.

The hunter pulled out a sack of gold and gave it to the bears. " I want to live here someday" said the hunger. The bears' eyes used to looking at each other looked into his. The sun rose and the sun set. The bears walked in the forest and planted flowers and felt as happy as ever they had.

Far away a tear plopped from the littlest bear's eyes as her bear mother ended the story. " Why do things have to end?" she cried. Inside the tears welled up and made her feel powerful. "No!" she cried.

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