Somewhere between Springfield and the Mark Twain National Forest, CO Micheals started thinking about why his black bear ventured so far from its own range. Twisting scenarios over in his mind, kept bringing him back to the same conclusion; the encounter the bear and the Polacka had, must be the source of the bear’s behavior.

Micheals’ GPS receiver showed the bear off the highway about four miles east of his position, so he stopped the car, loaded up his gear and readied himself for a difficult trek over rough terrain. Dense bush was like the cloud and cover that wrapped people in comforters of silent and authentic acceptance. With no trickery in their stride, their diary of fixations could be laid out on slabs of achievement for co-conspirators to scrutinize. Indeed, nervousness was the inevitable eruption when such a soul revealed a disinterest in what the mob chased down the road, cornering what ever fad or infatuation tempted their emaciated imaginations. The introverts are not leading the charge anytime soon, with their soulful stares, stacks of books and impressions, not to mention the bewildering ruminations…and while they are at it, they would well advised to jump off the teeter totter before the inescapable occurs. If what goes up must come down, then how long is the wait for the weight of equitability to hit the ground, supposing that gravity can have such an effect and supposing we can recognize the effect when it occurs. With all these imperfections wrapped up in a match called social discourse, those condemned to walk, by choice or circumstance, their path alone, most likely will survive to see another day, despite any protests from the puppet masters.

Micheals watched the Polacka, knowing it must truly be alone or something very close to it. His tracking skills did not find the black bear, but rather a Polacka. This switch, was it transformative or unconnected, intertwined or disengaged? Micheals approached the animal, but fad or infatuation caused it to disappear out of his sight.


It started off as a dull murmur, the direction indistinguishable but its effect mildly disorienting and disturbing as strange noises of any kind this far north was unusual. Emma paused over the dishwashing bowl, put down her sudsy coffee mug and walked out of the cabin into the treeless landscape. The sunrises here were often streaked with brilliant oranges, yellows and reds colliding over kilometers of green vegetation, grey rock outcrops and thousands of ponds ready to steal from the sky and keep the treasures locked in their watery depths. Today was no different. Emma walked through a small flower garden, along a path outlined with fist size stones she found in the area, to a wooden gate where she remembered to lift and open as one of the hinges was nearly broken and a replacement would be hard to find in such an isolated place.

The sound was louder now, and she was certain it was coming from the east. She ran to a height of land a half kilometer from the cabin, careful to avoid the round, slippery stones common in the area. Shielding her eyes from the rising sun, she searched the horizon for what she thought must be an airplane. The cool morning air pulsated like it was being squeezed and released, the dull murmur screamed anger now flooding any ears in its way and reaching the soul of even the soulless.

When Emma come to, she felt the large lump on the back of her head where her fall caused her to strike her head. The sky was blue now, all the color washed away replaced by cotton clouds dotting the sky and seemingly unsure which way they wanted to go. More mentally than physically, Emma checked her body; feet could wiggle, knees could bend, arms could stretch, head could turn…Emma rose to her feet, nearly fell over, steadied herself, then looked around.  Something enormous had fallen out of the sky, leaving a long and deep crater over a kilometer in length. A pungent electrical odor filled the air and a thick grey smoke waited for a strong breeze to shrink its presence. A large thick furred animal walked along the edge of the crater, grazing on lichen and grasses, unaware of the large gash across its hind leg.

Several months passed, Emma’s patience and persistence saw the animal’s wound heal nicely and the two often walked the tundra together, exploring the ponds, the beautiful wildflowers and sunbathing on rocky ridges. On one such outing, a man appeared on the horizon, sitting straight and high on a magnificent horse and when Emma’s animal saw him, he galloped off in their direction, stopping briefly to look back at her, but soon disappearing from her sight.



Hammer failed to mention it, Mary never realized it and the Polacka just went ahead and did it…ate the wild iris. It is a common misconception that the Polacka is the result of an unlikely union between a Polar Bear and an Alpaca, when it fact the Polacka is a common pet from Mizar that reacts poorly when it consumes bloodroot, indigo, iris and other earthly plants.

After eating copious amounts of iris while Mary was off picking blueberries, the Polacka collapsed on the edge of the wetland and bellowed out a pitiful sound akin to that of a tomcat in the throes of passion. Mary did something a blind person shouldn’t, she came running, slipped on a patch of moss and fell head first on to the moaning beast…her sight slowly coming back into focus. This time her vision wasn’t just ocular and although she couldn’t exactly see on a cellular level, she could observe connections and interactions of the world around her that few others will ever see. The timidity of time, the dissolution of lifespan and the forfeiture of ones self to the splendid existence saw the entire ethos merge and submerge for the simple purpose that life deserves life. The boundaries that Mary saw were not boundaries in the ordinary sense, just stations along the way, some, portals to other planes, some obligations to oblivion and still others a fight to the death. It all seemed like a sea of acceptable chaos, with nothing getting ahead and nothing getting left behind as it was both agreeable and tragic and as hard as hell to understand. Mary wished for her unfamiliar vision, something tangible and understandable and over time she’d get her wish and more.


Deep inside a scruffy piece of wetland on the edge of the Mark Twain National Forest, No.1 rested on a wild iris flower after a long day of infecting insects and birds with the enzyme he believed would provide immunity from INSECT’s deadly insecticide 1,4 Dichloropropene. Worry and weary, not traits ascribed to those in this Kingdom, permeated No.1’s habitual natural selections. His ascension to the status of No.1 was by appointment, a directive given by a scrupulous awareness of the coming eradication. Trying to create normalcy in a time of unheard of edicts, No.1 went about his business as a bearer of responsibility and a teller of truth. His march onward would be his end, but nothing he could do was going to change that fact because the forces of someone else’s justice would find him, pass sentence and give the final order. Like his predecessor, No.1 found solaces and turmoils in the deep ravines of the long history of his kind and his fear did not lie in the fortunes of the executed, but in that of the executioners. They were the sheep destined to survive and left to watch the rising sun reveal the madness left behind.

No.1’s sleep was restful and when he woke, he saw Feather at the edge of the swamp, beckoning him to continue their journey.

A Bear’s Story


The confrontation between the Polacka and the Black bear didn’t last long, the tranquilizing dart to the bear’s rump saw to that. CO Micheals tagged the bear, put a tracking device on the animal  and waited for it to wander off into the bush.

Months later, many months later, Micheals got a call from a wildlife management scientist with the Missouri Department of Conservation telling Micheals that his Black bear was detected not far from Springfield. Knowing these animals never travel such great distances Micheals convinced his boss that an investigation was warranted, and he was soon on a plane for Missouri. The bear’s wanderlust was not that of a tourist, whose ornate accommodation and promissory understanding keeps them ill informed on most things outside of their specific area of tunnel vision. He had neither the will nor the pretense to reveal a condescension that would bathe over indigenous realms because he came to the party as he was, not what he wanted to be. His trek was outside his history, indeed outside of any bear’s history, and the compulsion to keep moving became a force from the cosmos, that finally became an obsession, then a duty. If the day of arrival materialized, if the slings and arrows and bullets and press releases missed their target, the bear fantasized about his turn on the witness stand. Knowing he would never see that day brought him a measure of sadness, but he really didn’t care about that because another mile awaited.


Tiny LeBlanc was on his third week crawling around Louisiana swamp country, trying to avoid The Chaps, the police or anyone else looking for a piece of him. A diet of arrowroot, wild rice, watercress and the occasional coypu left Tiny a weak and confused man, ready to return to civilization and take his chances.

On his twentieth day of being on the run, Tiny heard a guttural sound coming from the edge of the swamp on a piece of high ground. He cautiously approached, soon coming face to face with a black bear whose rear hind leg was wedged solidly into a rock crevice. Tiny was no hero, but he knew stuck when he saw it and the crippling grip that tightened as you looked around for freedom. Tiny’s freedom, Tiny’s idea of freedom, was not that which is written in a constitution or famously elaborated on a declaration, but his was simpler and more direct. Tiny could see his freedom floating along beside him, as if it existed inside a companion mirror allowing him to look at it but never really experiencing it or altering the events or changing the destinations. The mirror was a cruel reminder of being stuck and it pissed him off enough to look into the bear eyes and decide to get him unstuck.

Tiny saw a fulcrum, just behind the bears leg, he scavenged a strong branch and now all he needed was a diversion so he could get close to the bear. As he pondered what to do next, Kitty-kitty and Kitty-cat scrambled along the ridge above the bear and launched a suicidal jump onto the bears back. As fur flew and cats were knocked about, Tiny lifted the rock imprisoning the bear and within minutes the bear was free and running into his new found freedom.