The Girl and the Bear…the Final Part

The Girl and the Bear

Final Part

Sooner or later, the girl woke too. She first felt the funny pain of cold, then a terrible stiff aching when she tried to move a little. She could hear the noises of birds and morning and she thought to open her eyes. But it was hard, like they were closed for so long that they had settled, couldn’t be opened. Like a window painted shut. However, she persevered, and soon was blinking slowly, forced. Time passed like this and each part of her body began to wake little by little. First the eyelids, then the eyes, then her toes, and then her fingers and nose, until she could contemplate moving her torso, sitting up so to speak. Her stomach felt the kind of sweat that brings together the hot and cold, her belly shivered though she had been lying skin to skin for several hours. And her bones cracked apart as she moved. But soon enough the girl was able to kneel up, to turn herself away from the tree she had slept upon, to roll over on her bottom and sit legs in front, bent. As she did so she could see her legs were grey and purple with black scratches up and down, dirty brown scratches, black where the blood had coagulated. And terribly white and grey because of the cold cold snow. Her arms too were marked, though less so than her legs. And her fingertips were brown and grimy, nails clogged with black dried blood. She assessed her body.

The girl looked up from where she sat and saw the sky. It was white once again, still high. And she saw the land around. It seemed to her to be bigger, wider, lighter and less untidy than it had the weeks previous. Clearer. Here she sat and looked out for a little while. Until her mind told her that now would be a good point to get up, what with her having been in the snow all night. She thought wise to bathe herself and attend to her cuts, to light a fire and become warmer, to prevent her heart from giving out to the cold. Wait, she thought to her heart. Something made her think to her heart, as if it was important, as if something had happened about her heart. She couldn’t remember. And when she looked down at her chest it was just as it always was, white skin, unmarked, not even marked by the bears’ arrows. No, nothing. So the girl took the strength from her guts and rose up one step at a time, steady as she went. And she began to walk back to her tree.

It was a longer journey this time. Of course, because now she wasn’t running, and she wasn’t on fire. She was just tired. But she came to her home and she bathed in warm water, then once again in nearly scalding water, for she was still cold in the bones. Then she lit a fire and sat some more. And she cleaned her cuts which were red and pink now. And she sat for some hours, warming. She was thinking, and then she was sleeping. And she was dreaming of the bear.

Later on the girl awoke and she was warm and calmer. She looked out of her tree and saw that it was becoming dark. And she thought she saw creatures in the shadow light, but they couldn’t confuse her for she was calmer now. She thought to the confusion and pain, and she looked at it. as she was looking at it she pitied it. any pain that had been inside of her could no longer make her bite she thought. That’s not to say that the pain disappeared, but the girl realised that the love of the two arrows that had stabbed her in the heart was somewhat of a combatant against this pain. In spite of the blood loss they resulted in, the arrows were very dear to her. And she would sit with them a while, no need to be overwhelmed, no need to cry at the confusion. Rather, just sit a while. For one day it was sure that things would be different.

The truth about bears is that they are not such fierce creatures as they might a first appear. Bears can be very kindly and beautiful, as the girl knew from her own experience. The reason for their ferocity is their ancestry. A very great bear many years ago was terribly hurt by a man. The story is that the man came to find the bear in the forest, for he had heard of its great beauty and majesty. The bear was well known you see. Known for his wonderful chestnut coat that glistened gold in the sunlight, and was so soft as to heal the skin it touched, and known too for his strength, for the power he held in his hands. This bear was the king of bears. He was very kind, and showed excellence in catching fish, fighting and running. The fastest creature in the land, no one could outrun him. And his teeth were so sharp and white, his eyes so blue. The clearest blue you’ve ever seen. He was the king. Yet one day, the bear was found in the forest by a man. The man had searched him out, he caught him unawares and shot him in the leg. Though the bear was strong, he was left prone and unable to move, by the gun wound. And as he roared in pain and anger, the man tied him down so as to prevent the king from struggling or lashing out. The man took out a knife and considered the beautiful creature before him, then stroking the fur with the knife edge, and at last slicing the bear’s side, he took a piece of the golden coat. He did not listen to the terrible cries that the animal made, but instead flung the fur into his bag, and took now a pair of pliers with which he plucked one by one, each of the sharp, strong white teeth from the dark pink and bloodying gums. He put these too in the bag with the fur, before wiping his knife and tools on the suffering bear’s leg, and turning, leaving the forest with his goods. The story of this king of bears was told to every new bear since, and for this, the bears now are imbued with a fear and terror which arms them to fight, to growl and to protect.

It is worth remembering this history when you might meet a bear. And of course the girl knew this when she came to love the brown bear and the black bear, though she saw only beauty and kindness.

The End.


The Girl and the Bear

The Girl and the Bear

Fourth Part

The night outside of her was very lovely. It was dark like Indian ink, but the sky was not too close to the ground. The air was very still and cold like it was made up of billions of tiny tiny crystals. And the animals were quiet, sleeping perhaps. The mountains were so enormous to the girl. Water came from her eyes as they were shut, and she could feel the burning up her skin again. Like fire paper. Her legs were pricked all over, heat in every pore. And she felt the same trying to break out of her body. She had to free him from beneath the surface. Her eyes opened and she spat into the snow, fearing she might choke if she did not. But her mouth quickly came dry and terrible again. The girl looked around her, at the tree upon which she rested, at the ground and at the forest ahead of her. She was searching with her eyes, quick, quick, looking around for a rock, something. Something sharp for cutting.

She saw nothing suitable. Her eyes were blind and confused with water and the very cold air. It was difficult for her to see, and all she could feel as she reached out around her was snow and tree, wet and permanent and ungraspable. Yet she just had to free the thing. So the girl took a hold of her leg and bit down. To no avail. Her teeth were too cold and not sharp enough, so she tried to scratch with her fingers. Better. She dug into her skin and dragged her nails hard across the skin. Many times, again and once more. Until she saw her hands becoming bloody and wet, her legs were cut too, slippery with blood and yet still burning, trapped, no release at all. She scratched and scored her skin, but all that lay beneath was blood. Well of course, what was she thinking of? The blood dripped down into the snow, corrupting orange upon white like a dirty, awful stain. Bright and ugly red, the snow soaked it up. And it was cool as the girl knelt, so she stayed a while. And her eyes and lips she felt them sting, and she saw blackness and whiteness in the back of her eyes. And then she saw a knife or a rock. No, it was a knife. She saw it so clearly before her, so shiny and tempting in the black and red bloodshot. So she reached and reached, she put out her arm to take a hold of the knife. Good. And she did what she had to do. She cut out her heart and buried it in the snow. Good.

Some hours passed and the night too. The sun rose behind the white sky and gave light to the mountains, cold and white. And the day was here again, the land showed itself, though it was still covered by the white snow, even some newly fallen. The girl was seated, her stomach flopped upon her thighs and face in the dirt and snow, and around her were marks of brown and red dissipating into the surface. Fading and dirtying. Weak and human. They circled her kneeling body like a star, like a halo. And the animals began to awake in the forest.

Final part soon to come!

Brown Bear

The Girl and the Bear

The Girl and the Bear

Third Part

She had become resentful and full of fear. And she was yearning for her tree, but this was very confusing for her because the black bear was full of kindness and had only ever shown her care and goodness. Nevertheless, every day the girl would wake and want to scream so loudly, but she was gagged. She was trapped too, tied up in a strait jacket and unable to escape the consequences of her own actions. Not but two days or so ago, the girl had allowed the bear, encouraged him, to shoot her in the heart, but she never thought that this would be the result. The arrow had become lodged, but her heart had begun to hurt. Hurt with a strange pain. A terrible guilty pain that came to infect her brain too. The girl was so angry and hurting and sad inside. And she knew that it was her fault. The problem was that there is not room for two arrows in one heart, and the girl had already been shot. Two punctures in one heart can lead to a great loss of blood. So in spite of all the honey and gifts that the kind and gentle black bear had bestowed upon her, the girl could not help but feel a horrible pain from inside of her beating chest. The pain was long and dirty and oppressive, and felt like a darkness crawling inside of her mind, eating at her thoughts, and taking away her soul. She couldn’t help but feel that she was doing something very wrong, that although she had love in her heart, it was poisoning her from the inside out. The days went on, for the girl was strong and kept the sense in her mind. Though she was suffering this strange pain, she could still hear the voice of her reason telling her of all the more pain that she might release if she let herself act upon her feelings. She remained constant, closed and quiet. Silent. She kept to wearing the gag and the strait jacket, and she stayed with the kind black bear, trying always to keep loving her friend, to ignore the place inside her chest where he had shot his arrow. Never did she cry out, only tears came inside. Tears of sadness and shame and guilt. And one can get used to pain if one doesn’t cry out. One day the girl became especially aware of the pain, and she thought she just couldn’t stand it any longer. She was terribly confused. And perhaps she ought to have realised, but no, she could not. She could not see clearly, she could not remove the gag, but then too she could not supress the indignation or pain. It was agony in her body. She lay that night beneath the moon, inside of the home she had built, but her mind was restless and her body full of discomfort. Itching and sweating, she writhed. Her skin was hot and sore, and the hurt was burying all the way through to her organs, and to her mind. She tried very hard to sleep, to remain, to calm, but at last her body was boiling so much with the wretch emanating from her heart would not stay still. Like a beast residing within her, he was eating her insides and finding his way out, preventing her sleep. So the girl sat up, she leapt up and climbed out of her tree. She hastened out, fast, fast and she didn’t care that her bones bashed against the trunk as she clambered. And she didn’t care that the air was so dry and painfully cold as to kill. She was so hot. And compelled. So she ran through the forested area, though she tripped and fell upon the uneven frozen ground. She ran to the edge of the trees until she fell down onto the snow, for it was snowing at this time of the winter. Everywhere was under layers and layers of snowfall. White and thick. Too thick even to feel the grass and mud beneath as you ran across the surface. The sky was very dark blue, and very vast and high. The girl stopped for just a second as she reached the forest edge. She breathed in. then she began again to run, following the path by memory, as the floor was only white. Not so fast now for she was beginning to feel the cold eating at her skin. Her body was in part burning, sweating, gasping for air and cool refreshment, and in part numb and frozen, unable to move for lack of energy. At first she couldn’t feel this, or at least was not concerned to notice, but after a time of running, her feet simply couldn’t continue onward. She stopped as she came to a number of trees beginning another forest area, and leant upon a dark and dirty wood, a wide tree trunk, moist and cold. The girl breathed for quite some time. Heavily, and leaning upon the bark. Her arms and legs and stomach were sore and stinging, hot still and itching. And she closed her eyes for a time.

Brown Bear

Fourth part coming soon!

The Girl and the Bear

The Girl and the Bear

First Part

There is a place in the mountains just far from here. This is the most beautiful and exquisite place you might ever see. It has much green grass and plenty of water and strong green trees. In the morning the sun rises up over the mountains. It creeps high into the sky, bright and yellow. Warm and powerful. It comes every morning, save for those especially clouded, grey, white days, and heats up the soil below. It melts the ice crystals that blanket the land so that round shining water droplets collect upon the leaves and grass. Then it warms them more and more until they evaporate and the ground is hard and dry, sandy with mud, but mostly green with grass. Well this place is very beautiful. The trees give fruits, nuts and berries, great red berries. And forest flowers grow upon the floor during the summer months. The nuts are varied and scatter upon the ground. They are sweet and nutritious. The place is very vast, it covers many miles and very few people live there. A lumberjack every now and then. There are areas where trees run for hundreds of miles, and here live sparrows and jackdaws and robins and grey tits and spiders and mice and fat caterpillars and woodlice. Then there are clearer areas where trickling water splashes down through the rocks and ledges. The water is clear and cool. Maybe it derives from a spring somewhere up in those mountains. The animals can drink.

Quite high up, perhaps into the higher of the mountains, is a place where the snow threatens, but never quite reaches to submerge. Here there is a reasonably sized clearing surrounded by forested land. As one ascends, there is one particular area of forest on the right hand side of this clearing, an area very vast and dark once one delves into its heart. In this part, among the insects and animals, the birds and the tall evergreens, lives a girl. She is a girl who lives here. Her home is a hollowed out tree, and her work is in the forest. The girl lives alone; though she is not lonesome, save for on occasion. For she has her work and her thoughts to occupy her time and mind. She cares for the animals when they are unwell, she mixes potions from the plants and flowers and fruits around her, and when she is done, she climbs the trees to look out across the mountains, or makes talismans and mascots from the forest detritus. She can make such like from the empty skulls of long dead creatures, from the husks and shells of the fruit that the land has consumed, from the seeds and pines that the forest sheds. And she can paint them with the blood and juice of animals and fruits. Her own home, inside a very large and tall tree, is decorated too with such objects as these. Red, brown, dead and immortal, hanging from the entrance to her home.

This tree that she calls her own is of quite large circumference with a hole in its side just a metre or so from the ground. Though the girl has covered the hole with a fabric so as not to allow the moths in each night or the bright light in each dawn, one can see that beneath the thin curtain, there is a room furnished inconspicuously and providing residence to a one individual. This is where she lives.

Sometimes the girl is cold. But that hasn’t been for quite a while now, and these days she sees more light. She can see the sunlight and feel it on her skin, and she can see the clean, white moonlight, and the hot, kind light of the night’s stars. She has friends in the forest, but mostly she is contented to live alone, to speak for herself. Some friends are raccoons, chipmunks, a few woodcutting folks, and of course the fish and the trees and the insects around her. And she also knows a bear.

Second part coming soon!

The Devil’s Horse

Second part…

Many dark years passed by up in the mountains and Percepção became accustomed to the ways of the Devil’s Horse. Thus, Percepção, though at first she tried to continue with her own life, learned to forego her own wishes in order that she might attend to those of the Devil’s Horse, which were fairly extensive and time-consuming. So she no longer walked along the hot white beach to and from school, she no longer studied, and she no longer saw her friends. It was too dark and tiring for any of that you see. Instead, she spent the days obeying the Devil’s Horse, which was extremely exhausting it must be said, and took up nearly all of the space in her mind. So much space in fact, that even if she had desired to go to school or study or see her friends, she would never have been able to.


After around one year had passed far up in the mountains, Percepção experienced something a little out of the ordinary. She had a strange dream, not quite a nightmare, but still, a dream that set her thinking. The dream, as Percepção can remember it ensued as follows: she was laying down in the forest, which was very noisy: raucous and boisterous. Animals were screeching and screaming, chanting and chattering, and the sounds of flames could also be heard. Percepção could see bright orange all around her, burning into her eyelids. The forest was on fire, giving a warm, encouraging and terrifying glow. In the dream, Percepção remained calm and uninhibited by the lively, forbidding noise and fire all around her. She was not distracted.


She then took in her hands a large pair of silvery scissors, the blades of which glinted beautifully in the light of the dancing flames. With these wonderfully sharp scissors, Percepção cut out of her chest her heart. She sliced the skin and then ripped out the grim and offensive organ that was inside. With her chest cavity open, she took the ugly heart in her warm bloody hands, stamped down upon it in the dirt, and waited for the fire to reach it. She then carefully sewed up her chest with a needle and thread, and wiped the blood off her hands on the forest foliage nearby.


When she awoke from this strange dream, Percepção came across a few thoughts in her mind, a few memories so to speak. These memories had quite an effect upon her for they made her realise just how very unhappy she had become. All the time she was serving the Devil’s Horse, though she did want to serve him, she was slowly allowing herself to die. She lost her body.


Her skin that had once been so soft and brown like a berry became transluscent and dry. Scabs and cuts became much more frequent upon the surface of her figure and her cheeks remained white due to the lack of sunlight, nutrition and sleep.  Her curly hair became like twigs and her eyes gathered dark circles of sadness, fear and fatigue beneath them. Her eyes were dead save for the occasional glint of the demons inside and her organs became weak and ugly. Her liver shriveled like a raisin whilst her heart lost its grace and her eyes were blinded so she was unable to see clearly. Her tear ducts dried up like the hot sands of the desert so that no emotion might penetrate through. She was dragging the beast around wherever she went, which was most often where the horse himself wanted to go, and it was such a heavy burden. She could no longer dance with that old thing deadening her shoulders, and yet neither could she mourn the fact that she could not dance. There really was nothing she could do except obey. That old Devil’s Horse really was a nasty piece of work. Like a parasite it was clinging onto her and refusing to let go, and it needed her so much that she was resigned to her duty as its bearer.


Yes, though Percepção had now succeeded in identifying the source of her unhappiness as the Devil’s Horse, she simply could not shed its great weight. The only resolution she could harvest from her brain was to fight. She would continue to look after this dreadful creature, but she would become a fighter, for she feared that otherwise, if she carried on submissively beneath the beast, she would only destroy herself. Thus was how Percepção came to spend the next several years. She was always close to breaking but by learning to fight, she very fortunately did not. Rather, she gave in to the demands of the Devil’s Horse, but she would not give up fighting. For the horse it seemed a fine and sustainable relationship, but what he was unaware of was, that because for Percepção the relationship was entirely miserable, she was gradually but steadily gaining strength.


Every morning before the horse awoke, Percepção disciplined herself to wake early and practice fighting. She made a small clearing in front of the cave where the horse could not see her and every morning she saluted Mars, the powerful god who was to help her to fight. She would then proceed to train her body and mind to attain stamina, strength, calm and resilience: to learn to fight. Though waking even earlier than the beast that held her meant that she slept even less than she might, she found that the skills and practice of fighting sustained her perhaps even more so than sleep could have. For sleeping only led to nightmares after all, whereas fighting very slowly led to strength. And so for hundreds and hundreds of days Percepção practiced and practiced, at first grasping only the most basic of defense traditions, but progressively learning to master the most deadly of them all. Arts from all over the world that could serve her well in any a fight she might face. She became an expert at the Russian Sambo, used in the past to eliminate attacks from the Mongols, the Huns, the French and the Germans. She became a skilled authority in Muay Thai, the ancient art of eight limbs, and she became a wizard in the lightening quick Malaysian practice of Silat. Not to mention her proficiency in Filipino Eskrima technique and Israeli Krav Maga. Learning to fight provided her with just a small interlude between long times of hell of caring for the Devil’s Horse, and soon she began to feel that she really was becoming stronger, a fighter. Oh but that old horse still weighed her down, he never gave up. Rather, the stronger he saw Percepção become, the closer he held her, crushing down on her bones and damaging her internal organs. Her liver shrank and crumpled, her kidneys started to bleed and her stomach came to disintegrate bit by bit. Fortunately, Percepção continued to fight and the beast could tighten the grip on her, but not entirely destroy her.

This went on and it seemed that fighting was the only remedy that might defeat the poison that radiated from the Devil’s Horse. A cure of sorts, a neutralizing force that caused somewhat of an impasse between parties.  A stalemate situation. But stalemate is better than being in the losing position, wouldn’t you agree? So Percepção continued on and on, in spite of the seeming futility of her actions and efforts. Several years passed and she came to be used to the situation. She was more familiar with the pain, although it did not cease to hurt her just as it had at the very start, like a stiletto stabbing down on her weakening heart. Just like that. Spring arrived every year and Percepção had to suppress the resentment she felt as she saw the new flowers and buds so cheerfully peeping through the forest floor.


This was followed closely by summer, when it was hot and humid, and the strength to care for the horse was so hard to find, and Percepção could feel her veins throbbing on her hot body.  Then came autumn, when she had to suppress once more her emotions, this time sorrow, as those very same plants she had observed growing withered and died. Yet winter was the worst time of year, and winter always came around. During this time of year it was most difficult to care for the horse as Percepção was sapped of energy and left freezing and malnourished, like a husk. Nevertheless, she continued and after many spring times, summers, autumns and winter seasons had passed by, something a little peculiar and unexpected began to happen.


Around the month of February, Percepção found that she had noticed a change in the physical appearance of the Devils Horse. This change must have been occurring for quite some weeks, very gradually, but it was at this point that Percepção noticed the difference. It was strange; the beast seemed to have shrunk in size, or maybe just in stature. Anyhow, Percepção could look at the beast in the eye when she stood, rather than having to look up to see his face. His black coat became more matted and sticky in places, and in areas hair had just fallen, leaving small but worrying bald patches, and revealing pale milk skin. The Devil’s Horse looked less like a stallion and more like a mule. Though his muscles bulged, he did not embody a bestial specimen of strength and power, rather more, a sinewy creature filled with spite and longing. The changes continued into March and soon Percepção saw that the grinning demon that had always lived within the horse’s burning eyes, grinned just a little less, and grimaced just a little more. During this time of uncertainty and change, Percepção continued to care for the horse, and still she carried on fighting as well. But as she fought, she realised that she experienced a new feeling along with the hatred and resentment towards the horse that she had learned to live with. It was quite an odd feeling, as it seemed to contradict entirely the disgust she felt, and yet, this new sentiment would simply not extinguish that disgust. She understood this feeling to be pity. And though she had always pitied such a deplorable beast, now the pity was becoming increasingly prevalent. Percepção came to realise that she was watching the creature die.


And the last part soon!