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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2302409-Children-of-the-White-Bear
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Fantasy · #2302409
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Children of the White Bear


Brief description: A young boy's mother dies, and his father does not want him. Genre: Fantasy

***

. . . and the far stars twinkled as the she-wolf told her in a way she did not completely understand of the white bear's children playing and frolicking just over the hill.

         On the top of the hill standing in the snow heaped high, one wild-gone girl innocently thought as she eyed them, that she knew the answer to the question raised to the air by their mingled hearts.

         Stale rage she read from the one, and from the other sweet beauty, but she did not dare to assign one of these two, to the one who had been discarded, nor to the one who had been born to be true.

***

I remember the day we found him, the she-cub thought. Mom and I were scrounging the mountains for wintered over raspberries when we heard him cry. Snow still lay sleeping, covering most of the berries we liked so much. But hey, Mom always said when I complained, "Little one, that's what claws are for."

         The pickings had been less than usual that early spring and we were hungry. Then we heard the cry. A long wail of sadness struck the air between us, and Mom ran this way and that, as if a brimstone fire was chasing her. I followed.

         Snow was flying everywhere, and ice pelted me as I fought to stay on Mom's heels. Mom knew what she was doing, even though she was running in circles, with here and there a stop or pause to sniff the air. I had confidence in Mom.

         In the midst of one of those pauses, Mom took a final smell and pointed herself toward what seemed to be some kind of natural shelter among the large rocks up ahead. I knew it was a shelter, for it had a sort of roof made of pine boughs stretched between two large rocks. "Mom, don't go in there, it smells like man."

         Mom looked at me with a stern countenance spreading itself across her face. "Honey, that ain't no man smell. There's a bear in there, as certain as it is that you are my daughter. Follow me honey, don't be fearful."

         We made our way to the rocks, Mom squeezed herself into the opening, with me peeking out from behind her, and sure enough, it was a bear we found looking back at us.

          I realize I am young and have yet to learn the ways of our people, but the bear I was looking at? He had blue eyes, the kind of blue the dog that Mom chased away had.

          I really liked his fur. In my young years I had never placed my eyes on a bear such as him. His fur was so thin, it was as if he did not have any.

          Ummm? But Mom said he was a bear.


         The three of us stood there, Mom and I with our most beautiful smiles on our faces and the young male bear looking as if he might be holding back tears. A silence bore down upon us steadily.

          In my ears, a river seemed to slap against ice cakes, and I thought I could hear Mom's heart. Boom, boom. Of a sudden the male bear spoke. "Hello, are you my neighbors?"

         Mom and I looked at each other. Neither of us had understood the sounds he'd made. Mom approached him and nuzzled his face. So too did I.

         In that moment our body language inserted itself as a means of communication. The young boy hugged us both tightly. "Yeah that's right. Mom told me a fib. She knew as well as I did, there was not a bear in that shelter.

Mom and I stayed with the boy for two seasons of blackberries, then . . ."

***

On the top of the hill again standing in the snow heaped high, one wild-gone girl innocently thinking she knew the answer to the question raised to the air by their mingled hearts.

         One moment, one away glance, and the tail end of a song, and she knew in a heartache that before she returned, the two, like children, would be gone. Mama told me to watch over him . . .

         When the wild winds blow, and the strawberries are sweet to the taste next spring, I'll be back this way again, brother.
She watched the she-cub and the boy run through the snow. For a moment tears backed up into her heart, then she turned to walk away.


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