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Creosote, the bear

This short, uncompleted, story was written Dec. 5, 2001 to Mr. F in response to his own bear story. This is a copyrighted piece of work.

Hey "Mr. F," You've inspired me with your bear story. So I thought I'd share. Now my story is no where near as concise as yours, nor does is have a point, so please bare (tee-hee) with me. Oh, BTW, I'm not prone to creating stories on the fly, so this might not ever happen again. :) Anyway, here goes.

Reading your bear story reminded me of my own bear story, which occurred a few winters back when it was very cold ... quite unlike this rather balmy winter we're experiencing right now in good ol' GR.

It was a typical Sunday, and I was getting some groceries from the now defunct food coop that was just a couple o' blocks away from my home. No big deal, really. I was standing in front of the frozen food freezer (one of those built-in rooms) trying to decide, "Do I want to get those pre-made organic frozen burritos or stick with making them myself," when I noticed through the shelves inside the freezer one of those Scandinavian-huge kids wearing a bulky white, furry winter coat staring at me. Not believing it was a big deal, the kid was taking a break from stocking shelves and may not even see me. I moved on down along the front of the freezer. The kids who volunteer at the coop are coming and going from this freezer all the time, grabbing boxes or putting perishables away. I had been in there once myself while volunteering.

But this furball of a kid mirrored my steps and continued his stare. I stopped. He stopped. I took a closer look. That was no kid, but (when standing straight) a seven-foot polar bear. You can imagine my surprise. It was beckoning me, pleading eyes, to have a chat. Not wanting to insult this much larger creature, I walked over to the freezer door, opened it, stepped inside and had a chat.

Seems this bear, Creosote was his name, needed a new place to stay until he was ready to continue his journey back up north. One of the coop kids had told him I rented rooms. Creosote was beginning to wear out his welcome at the coop. Now I told him I didn't have a room as cold as the freezer he was presently residing in, but he was desperate, as you can guess. He had stayed in far warmer places since having made the biggest mistake of his life.

Before I get to his big mistake, I must confess Creosote did live with me for about a month, and he wasn't that bad of a housemate. Not the neatest, in fact he was downright filthy. I found out later his name is Creosote, because amongst his bear clan he was the dirtiest bear. Try as he might to keep clean like his cohorts, he was a naturally messy bear. His coat wasn't as white as his fellow clan members. They berated him for it. The other bears abhorred this trait of Creosote's, however, they didn't ban him from their clan. He did have to spend most of his time alone in an isolated space where he could keep all his filth to himself.

Creosote may have been the messiest housemate I have ever had, but he was probably the most polite and thoughtful. He helped out considerably with upkeep of the house. Building shelves, upgrading the electrical work and dusting the tops of the window and door frames. Also Creosote was a bear of fine taste and culture. He had learned an appreciation of NPR along his travels. Thank you, whoever you are. No 24/7 TV viewing for this bear. He never turned on the darned idiot box, which collected dust in the corner. Plus, Creosote taught me - or rather acclimated me -- to keep the heat way down in the house, thus, saving loads of money on gas bills. For meals, he insisted on eating all his food raw no matter what it was. I guess after all those months of great human cuisine -- which he really adored -- he was missing his own cultural fare. Though we ate together half of the time, we each had our own meals. I wasn't going to have raw meat or fish, even if it was sushi. Afraid of bad raw fish, I ate sushi only occasionally.

Back to Creosote's big mistake.

Creosote's a polar bear. He lived near the North Pole. One day while he was out fishing, he discovered a bunch of humans exciting a tremendous contraption that had wings like birds. He got really excited, because he knew that where ever there were humans, there was always great food.

When none of the humans were looking, he hid inside that huge contraption. Don't ask me -- or him -- how he was able to squeeze himself inside a teeny, tiny little room with a sink, lots of paper and what he now knows is a toilet. He wasn't in there for too long when the humans piled inside, and the contraption began to make scary noises and started to move. This went on for quite awhile. Every once in awhile, a human would knock at the door and ask if anyone was in there. Creosote would make a grunting noise, and then the human seemed to go away.

After a long while, he was very hungry. Thoughts of fish were swimming in his head. The next time a human would knock on the door, he'd open it. And that's what he did. You can imagine there was general shock among all the people on the plane. Turns out there was a veterinarian on board, and he calmed everyone down. They all made friends with Creosote and gave him loads of food from the airplane's stash. He wasn't too impressed ... and was kind of regretting this whole escapade.

After many, many, many hours, the plane landed and everyone, including Creosote, got out. They were in Santos, a small city on the southern coast of Brazil. It was really hot. Creosote thought he was going to die.

He knew he couldn't stay there. After a week of resting and eating awesome food cooked by a family that rode the plane south with him, Creosote started to make his way back north. It was a long journey, and a very hot one. Thank goodness for some of the ocean waters he could swim and catch mounds of fish. But he knew he could get back home more quickly if he traveled by land. Besides, no one was going to let him board another plane. And he had no money.

Anyway, that's part of his story. He did write me when he arrived back home in the great North Pole. He said he will never again be tempted to do such a disastrous move as hiding in a human plane just so he can eat their scrumptious cusine. He ate better food outside of that plane all along his travels.

Hope you like his story. I'll never forget him.


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