Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"The Secret Life of Bears"

Wally Bear: Origins - Part III

The bear twitched. The vat gently shook. Two fuzzy ears poked out, followed by two beady eyes. The bear, like a newborn doe, clumsily stood up on wobbly legs, tipping the vat and spilling its contents, leaving a golden sheen on the dark ground.

The bear lay on the floor, at the foot of the chemical vat, his Pinocchio-like transformation complete.

He attempted to take in everything that surrounded him: the sight of busy workers, the deep sound of machinery, the earthy smell of the fertilizer plant. All these new sensations overwhelmed the bear and filled his small fuzzy head with curiosity.

Since he saw no other bears in the plant, only tall humans, the bear felt and understood that he didn’t belong. Therefore, he stayed hidden from the workers’ eyes while he explored the intricacies of the fertilizer plant, large for humans but massive for him. A desk was an unexplored cave, an air vent was a dark tunnel, and the greenhouse was a tropical jungle.

Finally, at the end of the day, when the workers had left and lights had been turned off, the bear fell asleep in the plant storage attic. His bed was made up of outdated fertilizer, much too strong for household use. In fact, it was so strong that it changed plants into trees, turned shrubs into bushes, and would ultimately turn a teddy-sized bear into a real-sized bear.

The bear was content with his hidden life in the fertilizer plant. He watched the workings of the machinery, how the workers interacted, and listened to the their conversations.

The bear lived in the fertilizer plant for years and eventually picked up words and phrases. These phrases became sentences and these sentences provoked his curiosity. Wanting to find answers, he found an abridged encyclopedia and thus his love of learning began. Up until that time, the bear only knew things dealing with the weather, sports, and fertilizer, since these were the topics most of the workers discussed. However, with the encyclopedia, he was able to escape the bounds and limits of the plant and discovered a world that he had yet to experience.

Night after night, the bear slowly grew. He didn’t notice it at first, but soon he couldn’t hide from the workers anymore and could only leave the attic at night. Finally, when he was as tall as a human, the bear decided to leave the plant.

He had entered the plant as a teddy bear in a man’s briefcase and left as a living, breathing, life-size bear, ready to experience the world.
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