Bears don’t dance !

As has always been the case since the very beginning of Time, the Hunter rises early in the day, even before the Sun, so he can stalk his prey … and calls this ‘the circle of Life and Death’, and with such a belief he feeds himself.

So today the Hunter has risen even as the Moon still shines, for he needs not only food but also furs, for the bitter winds of winter quickly waken ... the trek down to the river will take a good long while but it will all be worth it for many animals will be drawn to water.

And now here he sits, hidden up a tree, waiting patiently for his chosen prey … bunnies approach cautiously, quickly darting in and out, but they are too small for such a mighty hunter … next comes a shy young fox, but too scrawny for his taste … No, he’s looking for something to match his prowess, something that will offer fame as well as food … and thus he also lets go of a young doe - after all, what is the skill in acquiring such puny adversary …

Ah … but look there, following the doe is a mighty stag, proud of horns and with such a haughty demeanor [some would have said ‘majestic’, but such is not the way of this hunter].

And so he lifts his mighty weapon … carefully takes aim … his breath suspended … and just as he’s about to strike the rebellious stag is alert … and with a snort and a flash of hooves he dances away, soon hidden by the forest.

Disgusted the hunter is about to lower his weapon, but just then a great bear breaks through the clearing … thundering it moves to the water’s edge, carefully lowers its muzzle to drink of the quenching waters …

The mighty hunter cannot believe his good fortune … with blood thundering in his veins and lust in his eyes, he strikes the fatal blow…

Just one, that’s all is needed to end such a [can we say it] majestic beast …

Victory at last, indeed a proud kill, for few other hunters have ever made such a catch …

Ah, the glory that awaits him, and the great tales that will be told in the village upon his victorious return …

But just as he’s about to descend from his perch, there comes stumbling out a bear cub, looking for his mother … rushing forward towards her still figure … crying ... uncomprehending why she lies so still …

How well the gods favor me” says the hunter “Look they gift my skills not only with fur and food, but also with a play toy ! He shall make a fine dancing bear, and earn me much coin at the next fair … and when he’s too old for cuteness, then he can be baited for sport. Oh, yes ! the gods truly favor my mighty prowess” and in so saying he clubs the cub unconscious [the better to restrain him].

A year has passed, the cub now half grown is chained to a post, brought out for drunken pleasure and for easy coin - yes, this mighty hunter has grown fat and soft - he no longer hunts … No, why should he when so many are willing to pay good coin to see his dancing bear [well, it stands and growls, and when you poke it with a stick it lounges trying to strike at the offending humanoid … I guess you could call this ‘dancing’]

Ah … the mighty hunter has developed a taste for liquor - such noble deed, such snoring finesse, such deep slumber … Has he forgotten the circle of Life and Death … ? Has he forgotten the patient stalking, waiting for just the right moment for that single strike … well tonight is the refresher course …

You see, the post which once was strong enough to hold a mere cub has long been wearing down … and the mighty chain that so imprisoned the beast is now tired with rust … and tonight he shall learn that bears don’t dance … tonight the circle will be complete …

Ah, the sweet taste of Karma …

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