Bear With me (a very short story)
He was a small bear — “short for his height” as his uncle would say. But he was perfectly, if not generously proportioned. His legs were long enough for his feet to touch the ground and his arms, long enough for his paws to scratch behind his ears. What more could a bear ask for?
Well a bear could ask for much more if he had his wits about him but Simon was not what you might call aspirational. There were bears he looked up to but more in resignation than ambition. When you are a bear of a certain height you tend to accept a status becoming of your inches, both pole to pole and round the equator.
Yet Simon was curious. He wasn’t satisfied with the standard answers to common questions. He wanted to know what fire was, not just what it did. He was less impressed with birds’ ability to fly than that they had learned to fly in the first place.
As a bear in a world of bears Simon was not likely to stand out. How do you know how many bears there are? You count the legs and divide by two. If you count the heads you might miss one unless they’re all sitting down.
Not being quick witted or vertically advantaged, Simon tended to blend in and though loved by those closest to him he didn’t feel he got much attention further afield unless the joke was on him. So Simon used the only advantage his height afforded. And that was to fly under the radar.
Over time Simon grew to accept that he would not stand out either because he didn’t physically or wouldn’t vocally but his curiosity never waned. He observed quietly and trod lightly. One day he set his thoughts to paper and wrote a short story.
About a small bear named Simon.