A Story I Composed ... - No. 3Watch
Welcome to the Magical Forest.
A special miraculous place that not so many people know about. Even though some people actually are aware of its existence and in fact are familiar with the place themselves - to a lesser or greater extent. A place with a life and order of its own. And the more one learns about it and explores it, the further they get drawn and absorbed into the excitement and the adventurous nature of this mini - world.
A place populated by animals (a community of animals I would even say) that have intelligence and behave and interact with each other in a special, non-conventional way ... in fact more like humans to be more specific. That is what is not quite conventional about it. Only ... not really exactly like humans. But rather ... in their own unique sort of way. They are talking animals - and as you quite justifiably may begin to guess, they talk to one another and between themselves. One thing I would say though ... just like humans, each and every animal, whether big or small, has their own personality, character and mentality. And just like people, no two of the animals act the same.
As one may have correctly judged from the beginning of this story, these animals live within the reaching distance of people, which in turn allows for some interaction to happen between the two species on occasions. Yet at the same time, I must mention, the animals lead a special existence, somewhat secluded between themselves - and within the boundaries of the large forest - and even somewhat mysterious one would say. Maybe because their way of life is certainly by no means fully understandable or even known to people - and in that sense it is decidedly and plainly mysterious to them.
But Hey ! I guess now is the time to mention that this is a fairy tale. Hence the Magical Forest. Which allows and justifies us to apply - and give in to - our imagination and fantasies (which still live in every one of us, just like when we were kids) and to depart from the real life - like realities and the conventional ways of thinking ... if you allow me to say so.
THE BEAR AND THE HUNTERS
Introducing ... the Bear.
Just as you would probably imagine your average bear to be, the Bear loves and totally adores honey. He takes nearly every opportunity to deepen his paw in its sweet thick sticky substance and eat it and enjoy it immensely. Almost nothing excites him more. Well .. arguably with the exception of his rather friendly and tender special relationship with a little girl from a not so distant village.
This brown Bear lives in his own special den. This is sort of like a cave - but consists of another material (you can apparently find all of such material in a forest) and is artificially built. Which he has, with much care, fully adapted and equipped to himself and his personal needs and a comfortable lifestyle that he finds as important to him and to his well being (I even suspect he fully built it himself). Though the Bear does enjoy being a guest in other houses or dwelling places and socializing with others on occasions, this is his main place of residence and he is certainly one of those animals that prefer living on their own and uninterrupted - and having their own rules.
And this is where he invites and accommodates his own guests from time to time when he feels like it ... or whenever he may be particularly lonely (and shares with them his own unique collection of vintage wine which he stores in a cellar underground and feeds them his own cookery of his own making - pancakes with honey and scones with various sorts of delicious jams .. and the like ... and generously provides them with a place to sleep - etc).
But normally only so ... when he is made aware of their visit and imminent entry to the den by them announcing themselves by way of ringing a special little golden bell that the Bear has personally designated and hung for that purpose - just above the den's entrance. Otherwise.. he may often get frustrated, angry and agitated. Which, when it happens, normally manifests itself by the Bear emerging really fast out from deep inside his "house" with a terribly loud growl aimed at an unsuspecting visitor, where then - in a dangerously threatening manner - the Bear proceeds to give the visitor a similarly intense prolonged furious growl, angrily staring at them.. and may even go as far as to drag the poor "guest" inside the den, for example by their paws or legs - before coming to his senses and trying to figure out what actually goes on. (After all, instincts are instincts).
But by that time - when the Bear calms down sufficiently enough to evaluate the situation - it is sometimes a bit too late. Because the visitor may well already be unconscious having passed out cold from the fear and terror of the unexpected attack. Which was precisely what happened when, one time, a visiting hamster failed to observe the golden bell rule. After having given the defenceless hamster a proper growl, the Bear furiously dragged him into the den when the little "guest" was already stone cold and blue, and only then he started trying to bring the hamster back to "life" by waving a tissue above his tiny face - and slowly succeeded - after seeing what he had done to the poor animal... On such occasions the Bear always really blamed himself afterwards.
Which is one rule and danger that the two unlucky and unfortunate hunters knew nothing about. Recklessly. And sadly.
Introducing ... the hunters.
(Just as you would classically expect in a forest, the Magical Forest was from time to time visited by hunters hunting for animals or birds and carrying their rifles and other hunting accessories and equipment on them. But let me assure you immediately that the hunters have never ever actually shot or killed or eaten or otherwise harmed any animal or a bird or a fish.).
Still, these two probably thought they had every reason to be there on this one tragic day. Well, the Bear apparently did not quite share their view.
It was when these hunters were walking down the forest on an autumn afternoon and, unbeknown to themselves, they came across the Bear's den and got within a dangerously close distance to it - but did not really see it.. or even if they did, they did not give it much thought anyway, being far from realizing what it really was. The two hunters must have stepped over a dried out piece of wood laying on the ground and crushed it or were just walking over dry crisp autumn leafs covering the floor of the forest. Whatever the case may have been, they made a sound. Loud enough for the Bear - who was relaxing inside his den that afternoon, but awake and fully alert - to hear. And the noise disturbed him (as you would probably suspect yourself by now). He knew it came from somewhere close by - someone or something could imminently encroach on the territory of his den - his own territory. And how did they dare ?! "Invaders !" - must have automatically ran through the Bear's mind for a fraction of a second. Sensing danger and becoming instantly agitated, he charged forward and rushed mindlessly towards the den's exit .. as I would expect you would expect he would. Not uncharacteristically, the event triggered rage to fill the Bear up and at the same time - as ever - what he also knew at the moment was that he had to defend his home against the "uninvited guests".
With an Earth shuttering and truly terrifying growl he ran out into the full daylight from the depths of his dwelling place, properly mad and furious. Before the two hunters even knew or could comprehend what was going on, the astonishingly menacing growl flew in their faces. All these faces could do, in a blink of an eye, was to take on a bizarre and hopeless grimace of horror and pure terror - which they did. While one of the hunters collapsed to the ground on the spot, having passed out that very minute, without even managing to make a single sound first, the other one let out a loud intense and desperate scream and having dropped his rifle, sprang aside before dashing to run away erratically, flailing and waving his arms chaotically. All he knew was that he had to run for his life, and at that time he really could not care less exactly where he was heading. Little did he know that once upon a time the Bear had set up a trap made of steel in that very nearby area, in order to catch or deter invaders, enemies or any other being with any sort of sinister intentions. Which was the trap the unfortunate hunter got his leg into while running in a panic - and which then, just the way it was designed to do, closed tightly around his leg having captured it with even firmer certainty within its grasp. Not knowing what to think, the poor hunter yelled out loud and jumped up on the spot in a mixture of pain and fear.
While all of that was going on, the Bear already managed to partly come to his senses and to realize what was really happening. The picture was now emerging more and more clearly in his mind and he finally understood that these were hunters, probably from one of the villages, who were either going to pay him a visit or were simply passing by casually on their own business, but either way meant him no harm. But the Bear was stupid. If you would allow me to say so. On the other hand, he was rather silly. And he knew that. He knew he was stupid... Or he thought he was anyway. And now, having realized what he has done, he once again started blaming himself and was now feeling really, really ashamed of himself and his silly mindless behaviour. The next thing he knew was that he wanted to apologize to the hunters and explain himself and invite them inside his home, feeling more and more concerned for the visitors. Watching the fleeing hunter, he charged after him as fast as he could with the intention to call him, stop him and talk to him. Which was when the poor man turned his head over his shoulder and saw the beast galloping, heading in his direction, rapidly closing in on him. "That is it - this is the moment of my death! He is coming to get me now. " - was what rushed through the hunter's mind, and in a moment of immense panic and terror he knew he now really had to run for his life. He madly dashed forward sprinting away with a speed of a leopard, his eyes wide open, his face a mask of despair, putting all hope on his legs, one of which was tightly inside the trap as he ran, his leg carrying the trap with it. But the Bear was faster. Which was why he quickly caught up with the man. And then at once roughly pushed the hunter in the back with his soft warm nose, to get his attention.
"Hey ! ", exclaimed the Bear as the man froze in fear but then responded with an intense "Aaaargghhhh !!!.. ". He was really shaken. And was now shacking - all over. None of them was moving as they both just stood there and the hunter was looking at the beast in disbelief.
"Mr. Bear ? " , said the man, not knowing at all what he was saying. "You said something.., Bear ? ". He was quite stunned.
"Umm... " , said the Bear who was still overcome with a great deal of shame and pity and self blame. "Hello. I am the Bear. I just wanted to apologize for scaring you and your friend so much. No need to be running away. I am aware myself that, you know, I am quite stupid. A stupid animal. But what can I do ?.. Please be so kind to follow me inside my den where I will serve you and your friend some pancakes and honey and some tea. ".
And having finished his sentence, the Bear came up behind the man and again - but gently and tenderly this time - pushed him in the back with his nose - rather invitingly. The hunter could still hardly believe what he was hearing, yet after a few moments of hesitation he agreed and followed the Bear to the den. Upon their entry, the Bear grabbed the other hunter - who was still laying there on the ground without his senses - with the pair of his rear paws and then proceeded to drag him inside his home. And when finally there, deep inside his warm accommodating den, the Bear was still feeling his guilt. He wanted to help the still unconscious hunter as best as he could - and as fast as he could. So he figured out that pouring some water - a lot of it in fact - over the man's face, could help. (Well, you know like when you pour some cold fresh water on the face of a person who has fainted). So he knew exactly what to do.. and what he did was to quickly boil on the fire a kettle full of water. Having done that, the Bear cautiously approached the hunter who was laying on his bed.. and then at once emptied the kettle by throwing all of the hot water on the man's face and in fact all over the rest of him too.
And just as the Bear had anticipated, it was very effective indeed and worked wonders! Because the hunter yelled out loud and at once quickly sprang up and onto his feet.
" Aarrrggghh !! " , screamed the man as his body was still giving off steam and some of it came out of his mouth too. And as he was soaking wet, he then stared directly at the Bear with his eyes wide open.
" Bear !! " , he yelled again seeing the kettle that was still in the paws of the beast, " What on Earth have you done ?!! I feel so hot .. and wet ! What do you think you are doing ?! ".
That was when the Bear yet again realized his stupidity. It finally occurred to him, too late unfortunately, that he somehow did this the wrong way round, a bit - and that he should have used cold water instead. By now he knew all too well that he was a stupid animal. In fact, way too often, he was no good at all ... or so he thought anyway. Now he wished he would just fall through the ground or the floor of his den - he was so embarrassed and so disappointed with himself. And he could not stop apologizing all over again.
Yet things started to go better from there on. The hunter hanged his clothes to dry out after having applied a cold tissue to his steamy face, and he and the Bear together then helped to remove the trap from the other hunter's leg. Both visitors eventually forgave their host and started talking about their adventures. And they talked for a couple of hours that followed. Just as the Bear had promised, he served the hunters dinner and treated them to some amazingly delicious pancakes of his own making, with lots of jam and his most favourite honey - and some tea.. and some vintage wine from his cellar... In the evening, when it got dark, the Bear brought a box with matches and lit up two small candles made of wax. As he did so, the den became filled with a gentle, quiet, peaceful candle light.. as if to further enhance the deep welcoming sense of safety and security that this place always had. And when night descended on the Magical Forest, the Bear put both men to sleep in his comfortable bed. And there they slept, inside the Bear's den.. no doubt seeing some really sweet dreams in the process.. as the midnight Moon was gazing down from the dark blue sky, and smiling. All is well that ends well.
And the next morning, happy, fresh and delighted, the hunters thanked the Bear for his hospitality and having said farewell, set out on their journey back home. (Without their trousers though. As during the course of the night, while he was caringly putting their clothes in order, it suddenly occurred to the Bear that he had come across some great material and fabric to make wallpaper from, to decorate his own home with).
By / Author: me (Vlad83).
The Text: composed and written in September 2015 in London UK / modified and edited on 30 September 2015.
The Title: composed and written in September 2015 in London UK.
For instance, what should have happened to the Bear and the hunters - or between them - instead of how I have chosen the ending to go ?
Or ... if you were writing this yourself, would you construct the plot somehow differently (or amend it) and again.. if so, in what way ?
For example, would you put more (or less) action or adventures in or... maybe would you leave more or less sense of "closure" when the story wraps up ?
Would you make the story more dramatic and serious or more exciting ? Etc...
It would be very interesting to read the readers' comments, responses and contribution, if any.
This is the first website ever on which I published it - shortly after I had created and completed it. Really grateful to TSR for the opportunity of getting a venue to present my creative productions / attempts.
I had the first reaction / response in the early morning yesterday. Very grateful to that user !