Bear

Deep in the rain forest, below the canopy of trees, and past any human exploration, a wooden hut sits. From the outside, the hut looks like a puzzle a child smashed together. The logs composing the cabin are from different species of trees and none of the sides are even. The hut has four tall walls, making one large room with a fireplace opposite from the door. Three of the four walls have shelves from floor to ceiling, each shelf varying in both size and depth. Sitting the shelves are books, trunks, vases, jars, and pitchers. Most of the vessels are intact, but with a brown residue on the side. While the day passes, various tropical birds have come to perch on what would be the windows. The windows look like they are holes plied from the walls as an after thought, being without glass and uniform. A dug out ditch sits behind the structure, filling with rainwater that pours from the Costa Rican clouds.

Suddenly, the ground starts shaking which causes the birds to become excited, they each sing their unique song, making a kind of paradise choir. A happy six foot brown bear swings open the door, drops down his satchels of cocoa and coffee beans, which causes the top of layer of the days find to fall out and hit the ground hard. He ignores the beans bouncing on the floor like pebbles, and runs to greets the brightly colored birds that make up his window sill. His golden highlights shine in the sun against his brown fur, he slips off the dirty wet leaves that cover his paws, and then the straw hat. It's not just chocolate and coffee beans that he has, but containers full of berries, mushrooms, fruit, and seeds. He knows what each flock likes and passes out the food accordingly. While they peck on their snack, he opens a trunk and has a paw full of melted chocolate. After a long day for the bear, it's quite a happy scene in the bottom of the rain forest.

While they feast, the discussion turns towards new food that the birds have scouted. The bear takes out a book made out of dried leaves and tube of mud that acts a pencil to map out where he can next scavenge. The birds land on his soft and wide shoulders to comment, "more to the left, straight from there, swim through that opening, be careful its high there." They scout the places for food and he scavenges to bring them back the good stuff. Since he is bigger than almost any of the animals that make up this part of the jungle, he can try various foods without getting dying. It's only been the case that a few times he got so sick that he couldn't leave the hut. Once because he ate a type of mushroom that made him ill, and unable to get back home. He spent a few days passed out next to a waterfall that sprayed his face while he lay covered in his own vomit. The other time was when he first discovered coffee beans. He spent the afternoon eating every bean he could find, and spent the next three days moaning at home, unable to move. The moaning was so loud that the monkeys eventually sent a few guys rub his belly.

The process of him trying new food as a guinea bear has created a trade economy within the lower layers of the forest. When the monkeys came to tend to his sickness, they introduced the bear to mapping with mud. He can climb banana trees just as good as them, but can carry three times the load on his back. The alligators helped him with his trench foot by teaching him how to make shoes out of leaves, and in turn they get more variance in their diet. The scariest and smallest of creatures have all come to the bear in need of help.

There are times when the animals come and he hasn't been home for days. During these times, the jungle is filled with search parties. He's always found, snoring and passed out alone in a cave, on a tree, or on a dirt bed, and once on the edge of a cliff. When he awakes, he has no memory of falling asleep or even being tired. In fact, he never feels tired but involuntarily slumbers. The bear wished this didn't happen to him, but nor he or anyone else knows another bear or how to get another one. In fact, no one even knows how he got to the jungle in the first place....

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