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In my next life, I’m gonna be a bear

It appears that the harsh months of winter are over. The days are just stunningly beautiful with crisp air and blue, blue skies. My friend Michael calls it a “bluebird day.” Have you seen any bluebirds yet?

I personally haven’t seen any bluebirds, but I have sure picked up the odor of skunks. By the way, skunk perfume reminds me of the smell of high grade, pure sesame oil. My husband tells me that’s not a good association. Why not?

Some animals hibernate through the harsh months of winter, their life process slowed to the minimum. They are deeply unconscious; their body temperature drops and their breathing and heartbeat slow. True hibernators include many fishes, amphibians and reptiles whose body temperature may drop near freezing during the winter; as well as hedgehogs, ground squirrels and bats.

The most common image is of the bear, depicted in cartoons as crawling under the covers and setting his alarm clock to April.

In fact, while bears do sleep through the winter months, they do not actually hibernate. Their metabolism does not slow significantly and they can be easily awakened. Mother bears generally give birth in January and suckle their young during this period. Bears have also developed a neat trick — an anal plug that prevents them from messing up their dens while they sleep. This plug forms naturally from the residue of accumulated vegetable matter and blocks the intestines until it is expelled in the spring. If humans could manage this stunt, it would make the New York subways a lot more inviting.

A friend shared the ode to a woman hankering to be a bear. Allow me to share it with you — partly because it’s humorous, and partly in honor of the impending bear presence in our area when they awaken ravenous … to get into our poly-carts.

Gonna be a bear

In this life I’m a woman. In my next life, I’d like to come back as a bear. When you’re a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that, too.

When you’re a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you’re sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs. I could deal with that.

If you’re a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cub gets out of line, you swat them, too. I could deal with that.

If you’re a bear, your mate expects you to wake up growling. He expects that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

Yup, gonna be a bear!

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