There’s a Bear in the Words

Today’s post comes from Bart, the bear who found a smart phone in the woods.

H’lo, Bart here.

Words can hurt.

He Found a Smart Phone in the Woods
He Found a Smart Phone in the Woods

I’m sad about this insensitive DNR press release that came out last week about how people should react to wild bears in Twin Cities suburbs.

For one thing, it lumps together bears and mosquitos because we’re both “unwelcome visitors.” This is unfair. I know mosquitos. I live in the woods! Bears and mosquitos are NOT the same!

Then they compare bears to “a guy wielding a knife”!


Unfair again! If you look inside any suburban strip mall Subway you’ll see a real “guy wielding a knife.” Trust me – I’ve looked inside a lot of them. He’s just slicing the Honey Wheat bread (which I love), and nobody thinks of him as a threat to public safety.

One sad-but-true part is where the conservation officer says suburban bears get shot because “… shooting a bear with a tranquilizer dart, then transporting it elsewhere is mostly Hollywood fiction.”

I know about this because I tried to get a “Tranquilized Bear” role in Hollywood, and Manny, my agent in Los Angeles, says they aren’t writing those parts anymore. Now, the bear roles in the big movies are all like “Marauding Bear,” “Garbage-Picking Bear,” and “Child-Mauling Bear”.

I’m not saying I’m too good for these Bad Bear roles, but c’mon! I spent hours learning how to fall out of a tree because Manny said movie bears have to do their own stunts! But now the goofy, friendly bear character I can totally do is nowhere to be found. Manny saw a script the other day about a bear that gets exposed to radiation at a nuclear plant accident and gets to be 100 feet tall and then terrorizes a National Park.

Why would I do that? I love the National Parks!

Finally, the DNR says this about the sort of bear who might dumpster dive in Blaine:

Most such bears are young males searching for their own territory after emerging from hibernation and being chased off by their parents.

Chased off by their parents?

That’s not how it was put to me.

Mom said: “You should have a little parcel all your own where you can keep things messy the way you like and dad and I don’t have to worry about where you’ve pooped?” Then they gave me a rabbit carcass and promised to come visit!

That’s not “chasing off” somebody! Is it?

Your pal,

Bart has a point – words matter, and it’s important to be kind. But movies need villains and sometimes your folks do have to chase you off. And face it, we are all creatures who should be handled with care, especially when our paths cross unexpectedly.

What advice should the DNR give about interacting with you?

65 thoughts on “There’s a Bear in the Words”

  1. Interactions with the dr. joe of the species:

    1) Don’t make any sudden movements.

    2) Wear a bra (for a while).

    3) When addressing him, look into one of his two good eyes, not the lazy one.

    4) Offer him Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet A & W Cream Soda.

    5) If the moment seems right, remove your bra. Slowly.

    6) Don’t get him wet.

    7) Never, EVER, feed him after midnight.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good morning. The DNR should indicate that I should be approached cautiously. I am harmless. However, I could change.


  3. the dnr treats bears and Lynn Rogers of the bear center in ely about the same. See if you can make them go away and stop interrupting the important coffee drinking going on in the back room meetings we are having deciding the good for all from our ivory tower. Lynn Rogers was doing great living with the bears, studying the bears, monitoring the bears, until the dnr decided he was doing it wrong and tried to cut him off, this until his bear study findings became the stuff of the news and they decided to allow him to continue in shackles. Then the same cowards who send death threats to pow families thought shooting collared bears would be a good idea. The dnr said oh well and hoped they could go back to coffee and donuts in the tower soon
    The police officers who shoot bears thought they were being hired to save humanity and instead wound up in the wilds of savage and Eagan where speeding tickets and domestic abuse lead the daily activities charts. Bring on the bears right officers? The dnr will back you. I saw the woman they chose to represent them on tv. Much better looking than the guy fighting with Lynn Rogers. Can we bring him back and try a little target practice with night vision goggles?


    1. i notice i sound a littel angry here. i just feel like shooting the bears because the people who leave garbage in the yard meat on the grill and sunflower seeds in the bird feeder hardly equates to the logical conclusion. yes you can make the world a safer place but you could do the same thing buy shooting all the people in bowling shirts or with harley davison bling. its not about easy its about right.
      i noticed the question has nothing to do with what i am answering so maybe the answer to the question is that the advice the dnr should give about interacting with me is do it as little as possible. if it can be done without a collar it is preferable.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. gad are we going to have to put up with this crap all summer. heck it can go on now that faculty meetings are a thing of the past into infinity. nice to have your smart ass mouth back donna.


    2. That poor, wounded bear was shot and killed over the weekend in West St. Paul, about a mile from my house. Heartbreaking.


    3. Minnesota’s DNR is one uneducated, sadistic , and proud of that, piece of work. I have no love, none for those sadistic beasts. I do however love Dr Rogers, Bears, Wolves… wildlife, and honestly kind people .


  4. She can be easily baited with strong coffee and mystery novels. She is social but shy. Give her space and gentle directions and she will comply with most demands.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The lumbering species known as the birchwood buffalo is best left in his own small niche on the uplands by the wooded ravines of the Minnesota River. He is slow witted, slow of foot, sloe eyed. If you must approach him, give clear warnings first, make no loud noises, shine no bright lights, be free of perfumes and scents, do not touch him. Use of pain killer, even id administered by dart, would be appreciate by you and the buffalo.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. She has a mind of her own, don’t presume that you know what’s best for her. Respect her boundaries, she doesn’t like to be crowded. If you want her to do something, ask her politely. She doesn’t respond well to rude and inconsiderate people. If you treat her right, she’ll do most anything for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. (very off-topic and very lengthy; Steve’s version to follow in a few days)

    I’m home; Steve’s home; and I’m emotionally almost moved beyond tears and words as I reflect on the last week.

    The magical part of this once-in-a-lifetime journey was our ongoing, effortless, fun dialogue. It was the never-ending sharing
    of dozens of pieces of our common childhood. He’d tell a story; I’d say “Do you remember when…………?” Over and over and over,
    we triggered memories from one another. The trip was 26 hours of driving and every mile of the way immersed us in riffling
    through our childhood, our divorces, our core beliefs, and our differences. To everyone’s amazement, including our own, what everyone thought would be a three or four day drive was done in only two days. Shows you how resilient we older folks are?

    We’ve made peace even though we’ve never truly been at war. We simply haven’t found the way to a same -enough page until two years ago. The longest I’ve ever spent with Steve before is about 2 hours maybe twice a year. It seems that some sibs take over sixty years to find each other and some never do. I have the good fortune to have had this opportunity compressed into just one week.

    Once at Molly’s, this conversation continued for the next three days and was rich with insights. We stayed up late and got up
    early each day. It seemed to be an extension of the long road trip and I lapped up every minute of it. I took care of him throughout,
    getting his C-pap ready, bringing him wine and coffee, fussing over his pain in walking even a few steps. Molly was an in-charge,
    “I’ll take care of you Dad” mode throughout. His new apartment’s like a mini-condo in which she had fully supplied with food, a made
    bed, cleaning products, towels, etc. We shopped all day for new tech equipment like a big screen TV, DVD player, sound bar,
    furniture, lamps, etc. We had to use a wheelchair for him as he could barely make it from the car to the stores. No one cold have a more loving, devoted daughter in the world than Molly.

    I asked him to stay at Molly’s for the three nights I was there rather than have him stay in his new apartment ( not wanting to miss a minute with him). Along the way, it became quite apparent that he’s as calm and unflappable as I am anxious and hot-wired. For example, he spent FOUR hours with three different Comcast reps trying to line up a bundled package. The first two had him on hold for 40 minutes! When he finally sealed the deal, I asked him how he could be so incredibly calm and pleasant. He simply told me, “What good would it do to get upset??”

    He was in chronic pain the whole time, but never once complained about it. He remained very thankful, gracious, positive and upbeat.
    This astounded me. Much smaller things, even stubbing a toe, would set me off, and here’s this man suffering from five serious conditions and trying his very best to accept that this is where he is. My brother is a remarkable human being.

    Only once did we test fate. Driving through the gorges leading into Portland, the lowering sunset caused such a glare on the
    bug-splashed windshield that he literally couldn’t see the road. This went on for at least 15 minutes and the only way he could
    stay on the road was to follow the tail lights of the big semi in front of us. After reaching Molly’s, he admitted to me that he’s not been that afraid for his life ever before. I must’ve instinctively gone quiet as I recognized the grave danger we were in. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be ironic if we’ve made it 26 hours, then have a fatal accident right after reaching Portland?”

    Neither one us spoke of our fear during these minutes, but it was understood that we were in dire trouble.

    Four-year old Liam and I fell completely in love while there. When I was about to leave, I asked him if he’s miss me. He said, “No”. Stunned, I said, “Why not?”, to which he replied, “Well, God’s in everybody, he’s always everywhere, so you’ll always be with me”. Out of the mouths of babes………..

    Flying home, I recalled what Steve once told me right after our parents had died; “Death is simply the end of a lifetime conversation”. I already dread the end of our conversation as it seems that it just began.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Very glad you both made the trip safely, and that Steve’s now near his beloved Molly and grandchild. Sounds like it was a positive experience for you both.


  8. I forgot to mention that, due to his estate folks moving the sale date up, my brother had to live with me for more than a week prior to our adventure to Portland. This, too, was a very smooth arrangement. He hung out in the lake-facing living room reading or listening to the radio; I stayed in the den (where I spend most of each day), using my Mactop and watching cable TV. Several times a day, he’d come into the den to chat. This meant he’d had enough solitude and wanted to interact. I was surprised and relieved that our routines worked perfectly together. He dearly missed using a computer, of course, but handled it with grace.


  9. Similar to Renee above – but add chocolate. Can also be lured by good music (see TLGMS and Radio Heartland) and a pair of comfortable shoes that fit well. Offer me a small RV, or that last version of the VW microbus, and I’m yours.


  10. ET: story from my son tonight
    I was talking to [friend] when I mentioned that I was on a layover in Chicago. “I am too!” She said, “Gate B9” well of course I ran over to see her, but I can’t find her anywhere. Turns out that of course I am in O’Hare and she is in Midway.


  11. CB’s post about her trip with Steve put this song in my head. It’s long but its shifts in tempo, dynamics, and expression are absorbing and stirring – very much like CB’s reflections. And it helps to like the Beatles. (If anyone posts “who cares?” under this I’m going to cry.)


      1. My sister’s bedroom – she got to have the record player in her room. Fortunately she was gone a lot, and I got to use it when she wasn’t home. I sat on the bed and played solitaire while listening to records every day after school.


      1. That’s beautiful. I played Old Friends a few times when Dale and Jim Ed’s career together ended. Some rainy day I’m going to watch the concert in Central Park. But today I’m in Beatles mode.


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