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Author Topic: Bears  (Read 880 times)


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« on: January 13, 2021, 01:19:38 PM »

Tidal Terror began her sleeptime story with her normal booming voice, though there was a consistent somber tone to it. "Snarling Bear was the most feared creature in the mountain pass. She was large, thick-furred, with many scars from fights with other bears, eagles, and totoma alike. With those scars came seasons of wisdom."

"Still, fools approached her time and time again! And there were always plenty of fools willing to throw their lives away. They thought that maybe they would find glory. How wrong they were!"

"One of those times, a small tribe thought they had a chance. Snarling Bear had recently become a mother, and they believed she would be too tired from the endeavor to put up much of a fight. But motherhood made her even more protective, and they all learned that with their dying breaths."

"The small tribe was foolish to approach the Snarling Bear, and foolish still having their own lambs nearby that would need someone to take care of them! At the time, there were three. One walked into a snow storm, hoping to find their missing family, to then never come back. Another grew so hungry that they went to search for food at night, and was not seen again. The last stayed put, hungry and afraid, and his whimpering brought Snarling Bear into the camp."

"She was a mother first, with her cubs following behind. When the small, shaking lamb attempted to headbutt one of the curious cubs, Snarling Bear did not end the totoma's life with one blow. Wise as she was, she saw that the tiny kin was pitiful, yet strong. She did not blame him for acting as she would if she were cornered. So, she took the totoma as her own, and thus the totoma had a mother and two siblings once more!"

"The totoma grew, never to be as large as his adopted siblings, but still big and strong. He learned the ways of the bear but forgot the ways of totoma. His speaking-song became little more than feral grunts and growls, and he wanted little more than to eat and sleep. That is how it was for Totoma for his adolescent seasons."

"But seasons and circumstances always change. The snow melted, and tribes were on the move once more. The bears, too, were more mobile. The cubs were grown and soon they would go off to live their own lives. Totoma stayed with Snarling Bear, only leaving her side to find food and water."

"On one of those journeys, another totoma hailed them from across the river. 'Well met!' the other totoma called. 'Is your company nearby?' But all the totoma got in return was more grunts and growls. 'I did not understand what you said! Has it been a long cold season for you? Have you been on your own this whole time?' Again, only growls for response. Disturbed by this strange display, the visiting totoma returned to their own camp. They spoke of what they saw to their leader, a totoma who wanted to hunt down Snarling Bear for killing her tribe and her siblings when they were young. This leader, Storm-Howl, was very interested in what she heard, and went to see Totoma herself."

"When she found him, he was standing on his back legs, trying to reach for berries in a tree. In the afternoon light, he looked much like her brother she had to leave behind when she was trying to find help all that time ago. 'Totoma!' she called out, amazed, 'I never thought I would see you again! Are you named? Is our other sister with you? I have so many questions!' And as she babbled on, Totoma squinted at her. She was not a fellow bear, yet he recognized her. He knew to hate totoma because they attacked his family. This one he felt he hated, but not for being a totoma. He rushed at Storm-Howl, and she yelled, making the birds fly from the trees. They fell into a fight, and soon the rest of her tribe came to fight Totoma off.”

“Totoma returned to his mother bear, beaten and bloodied. She could tell that he had found others of his kind. While Snarling Bear could be quite vengeful, her children were no longer cubs. They had to fight their own battles. She stayed with him one night more, then at the dawn, ambled into the morning mist. Of course when Totoma awoke, he was distraught to find her missing. With no snow, there were no tracks left to look for her. He cried and mourned, feeling abandoned much like he did as a lamb. After some time passed, he heard something in the brush outside the cave. At first he dared to hope it was his mother, but when he looked outside, he found a band of fellow totoma trying to keep hidden. This angered him. He flew into a rage and ran at them, head lowered, and a totoma met his challenge. His sister crashed his head with his. As they fought, his bear-like attacks slowly morphed into more totoma-like ones as he felt something familiar in their conflict. In his bones he knew how to dodge and counter, even though his bear family never showed him such things. At the end of it, he fell, but did not lose! He was just too confused and heart-broken to continue on. Storm-Howl looked down at him with great pity, and her company took him back to camp. Otherwise, he might have died out of sorrow.”

“He continued to act and speak like a bear, for the most part, and even was given the name Bear to honor what he was taught. What speaking-song he learned came out very guttural and short. But he was able to teach the other totoma many things, like better ways to fish and how to use their full height to forage. Even though he was Bear, he was also totoma. Trapped between worlds as he was, he still brought great knowledge to his fellows. And, of course, he brought family back together. On your travels, remember this: There is always something to learn from the world around you! And if a bear has a name, it is likely best left alone.”