Forest Hospitality Crisis Deepens

Today we hear from Bart, a bear who found a smart phone in the woods.

H’lo, Bart here.

I live in the woods so I know all about the natural patterns.

Summer dies, the leaves fall, the snow flies, and the bears hunker down. Then the sun warms, the snow melts, the bears wake up and the people go a little bit nuts.

This is the time when all the annual warnings come out about securing things that smell tasty because the dreaded bears are coming out of hibernation and they’re hungry but there’s no food for them, so you’d better make sure there’s no charred chunks burned onto the grate of the gas grill.

Which is too bad, because I sure likes to do me some charred chunk gas grill grate grazing. My heart sinks when I climb up on a deck in the dead of night, carefully make my way to the cook top, and lift the lid only to see that someone has been busy with a wire brush and the 409.

And articles like this one are so alarmist – as if the worst thing that can happen is that a bear will lick the Weber or tip over your smelly old garbage. Let me tell you – having a bit of your trash strewn about is not the worst thing that can happen on a windy April morning.

What’s sadder is the way this paranoia makes you behave.

I’ve heard tell of “Minnesota Nice,” but I’ve sure never seen it. Especially not in Spring. Even though you make such a big deal of being so friendly and welcoming to the unfortunate victims of bad luck with poems like “The New Colossus,” which I read online and liked a lot:

“Give me your tired, your poor.
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I’m guessing Emma Lazarus would turn over in her grave if she saw the way you’ve decided to treat your hungry, huddled bears. As far as I’m concerned, this is what I hear when I try to re-enter society every April.

I’ve seen that bear before.
His famished stomach churning to eat free.
Your wretched refuse is his grocery store!
Pizza, or maybe a toaster pastry?
Let the poor bastard have an apple core!

But who am I kidding? I know everything in the pantry is in lock-down. That’s why I snuck in and snitched a whole box of Twinkies from Ranger Station last summer when they were all distracted trying to get a stray deer out of the DNR gift shop.

Those things never go bad!

The Twinkies, I mean.  Deer are bad to the bone!

Your pal,

I’m impressed with Bart’s ability to quote from a poem that adorns the Statue of Liberty, but I am relatively certain he will not make it through the spring on a Twinkies-only diet.  I hope he finds something nourishing, and soon!

Where have you found inspirational words to live by?

37 thoughts on “Forest Hospitality Crisis Deepens”

  1. I’ve found inspiration from Jack Handy of SNL fame. Here are few of my favorites.
    Maybe in order to understand mankind we have to look at that word
    itself. MANKIND. Basically, it’s made up of two separate words
    “mank” and “ind.” What do these words mean? It’s a mystery and
    that’s why so is mankind.”
    “As the light changed from red to green to yellow and back to red
    again, I sat there thinking about life. Was it nothing more than a
    bunch of honking and yelling? Sometimes it seemed that way.”
    “Most of the time it was probably real bad being stuck down in a
    dungeon. But some days, when there was a bad storm outside, you’d
    look out your little window and think, “Boy, I’m glad I’m not out in

    Liked by 5 people

  2. A. A. Milne and Winnie the Pooh often have pithy (and useful) things to say. A personal favorite, “When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I read a couple of daily devotional books that are inspiring and keep me in line. Husband just bought The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse, but I think he got it for the beauty of the language, not for inspiration. I think I find my most practical inspiration in Baboon commentary.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This will date me. I grew up thrilling to the wit and wisdom of Pogo, the genial possum of the Okefenokee Swamp. As a boy, I was moved by such observations as this:

    “Thar’s only two possibilities: Thar is life out there in the universe which is smarter than we are, or we’re the most intelligent life in the universe. Either way, it’s a mighty sobering thought.”

    Or this:

    Pogo says: “Eventually, Porky, I figgers ever’ creature’s heart is in the right place.”
    Porky says: “If you gotta to be wrong ’bout somethin’, that’s ’bout the best thing they is to be wrong ’bout.”

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I find them all over, everywhere I look, it seems. A couple of fortune cookies revealed:
    – Worry is just praying for things you don’t want to happen.
    – Not to decide is a decision.
    I like Mark Twain a lot –
    “You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
    …and Einstein:
    “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.”
    and Ghandi:
    “There is more to life than increasing your speed.”

    Oh-oh, I could do this all day…

    Liked by 3 people

  6. As a reader, I find words of inspiration all over the place.

    “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.” Helen Keller

    “You can’t go through life not listening to music.” Graeme Simsion, The Rosie Project

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These days I subscribe to only one magazine, an extremely interesting and distinctive publication called The Sun. The last page of that magazine is a collection of wise and funny observations on the human condition. If you like that sort of thing, I heartily endorse that magazine to you.


  8. Good morning. I particularly like Studs Terkel’s collections of interviews and biographical information covering a wide range of interesting people. I found the book covering the people who lived along Division Street in Chicago to be outstanding. Coming of Age, which is about older people, is also very good. He shows respect for all of the diverse kinds of individuals he includes in his books and they tell him many things about their lives that I find inspirational.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Epilogue to Life

    A man on the coast of Columbia could climb into the sky. On his return, he described his trip. He told how he had contemplated human life from on high. He said we are all a sea of tiny flames.

    Each person shines his or her own light. No two flames are alike. There are big flames and little flames, flames of every color. Some people’s flames are so still that they don’t even flicker in the wind, while others have wild flames that fill the air with sparks. Some foolish flames neither burn nor shed light, but others blaze with life so fiercely that you can’t look at them without blinking and if you approach, you shine in their fire.

    At times in my life, I’ve shown fiercely, causing others to blink in my light. At other times, I sought the light and safety of the flame light of others. I cherish bright flames but also the quieter, steadier light of less brilliant flames. Whether you are bright or subtle, the light of your own flames matter completely along this journey for only together can we create the bonfire of earthly existence.

    Goodbye cancer, hello LIFE

    * The first two paragraphs were written by Eduardo Galeano; the last by me, and used to end my 400-page book on cancer.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I am coming up blank here.

    I think either I just happen to trip over things in my path or certain things are somehow sent to me. Depends on the day which way I think this works.


  11. I just stumbled on a story that the quote on the new Maya Angelou stamp (“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”) is not actually hers! The story says a spokesman has defended the use of the quote because it’s widely “attributed” to Angelou. My goodness – I guess accuracy takes a backseat to attribution. I guess the Kurt Vonnegut stamp will say “Wear sunscreen.”

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Here’s one:

    “The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised. ” – George Will

    And a second one: “Nothing is more unpleasant than a virtuous person with a mean mind.” -Walter Bagehot


  13. One of my favorite sources for interesting quotes is You just need to have the patience to decode the quotes.

    For instance:

    Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pocket. But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past.
    – Gilbert Chesterton

    Poets are soldiers that liberate words from the steadfast possession of definition.
    – Eli Khamarov

    Liked by 4 people

  14. “Many years ago I sent an old, beloved jacket to a cleaner, the Sycamore Cleaners. It was a leather jacket covered in Guinness and blood and marmalade, one of those jobs… and it came back with a little note pinned to it, and on the note it said, ‘It distresses us to return work which is not perfect.’ So that will do for me. That can go on my tombstone.“
    peter o toole

    The Little Prince: ‘And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: … with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

    All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten Quotes

    Want to Read

    “These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):

    1. Share everything.
    2. Play fair.
    3. Don’t hit people.
    4. Put thngs back where you found them.
    6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
    7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
    8. Wash your hands before you eat.
    9. Flush.
    10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
    11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
    12. Take a nap every afternoon.
    13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
    14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
    15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
    16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first workd you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.”
    ― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

    “I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”
    robert fulghum again

    so it goes…

    Liked by 1 person

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