Here’s a rather stern holiday address from our Forager-in-Chief, Bart the Bear, thumbing some thoughts our way from his cellphone in the woods. It has been translated from the original Usurs Textish.
Hello, Bart here.
Just a note to everyone coming to the woods for Labor Day weekend.
You’re on holiday, but I’m at work. Don’t forget that. I don’t get time off.
A bear’s job is survival, every single day.
I know your song and cartoon bears dance and play and eat picnic baskets, but that’s a make believe life and I can’t afford to live it. I’m real. Really real. So if you see me in the woods this weekend, give me a little room to work. Getting too close is a hazard for me and you, and in case you didn’t figure it out, I smell bad. Really, really bad. And my breath is even worse. Trust me, you don’t want to get that close.
But if you HAVE to get my picture, why don’t you at least leave me a generous tip? Yeah, a tip. I’m just like a waiter down there in the Twin Cities – working hard while you relax and have a good time. I suppose you could imagine, like some people I won’t name, that I’m pampered and overpaid. But trust me, you’d be floored if you had to live the way I do, dressed in a thick fur coat all summer, dragging my big bear butt through the thicket and getting feasted on by mosquitoes and ticks. Yeah, ticks. I got some the size of chipmunks.
So drop me a bag of Fritos, OK? Or Pudding Pops. Cold stuff is good and I can get to it before it melts if you ditch it in the hollow log and get out of the way. You’ve got plenty, we all know that.
Maybe you’re thinking you don’t want to encourage us bears to eat people food. Maybe you’re thinking by not tipping us you can keep our lives more “natural.” Well, I say, thanks to you, “natural” is no longer a possibility. A newspaper blowing through here the other day had this article that said the North Woods are “retreating” to the north and east, so with climate change I’m gonna have to think about a very expensive move. Ever hear the saying “There’s a Bear in the Weeds?” Me neither. It’s “Woods”. Always has been. That’s what we like – trees. I won’t stay on the prairie. So as long as you’re changing my world and uprooting me, why don’t you do a little something to provide for me too?
Don’t have any extra junk? I’ll also eat healthy foods. I know you get to have blueberries year-round, and blackberries too. How about it? Share the wealth. I’ll even take a bruised banana. No big deal. What else are you gonna do with that stuff? You sure can’t take it with you. And if eating your Fruit Loops rots my teeth and kills me, well, it won’t do me in much quicker than the starvation I’ll face if I have to spend my days posing for pictures with you and your kids while your exhaust makes all the trees around me die and fall over.
My main point is this – have a nice weekend and enjoy the woods. It’s a wonderful place to visit. But while you’re having a good time, don’t forget to pay the help!
Your friend and host, Bart.
We all want to help Bart AND to do it responsibly, but leaving a package of Ho-Ho’s in the dwindling forest is probably not the best way.
What’s your favorite host/hostess gift?