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Glenn Eastman — obituary

EASTMAN, D. Glenn 1934-2024 On Friday, April 12, 2024,...

A pair of poems for spring

Editor's note: Chris Cavan sends these reflections...

Diana’s Quiz – April 13, 2024

by Diana Filer 1.  What device in effect...
Reflections from the SwampBears invading Corkery

Bears invading Corkery

Reflections from the Swamp
Richard van Duyvendyk

Dear Reader

There’s not much going on in the Swamp these days. It seems that most life forms are hibernating or have flown away. Hummingbirds aren’t coming to the feeder, the garden is covered in snow, and my mind wanders again, especially at night. I’ve been thinking about bears. We’ve had a few bears come by over the years, especially back when we raised bees for honey. I imagine a world where giant furry creatures emerge from their hibernation and take over the landscape.

“Small wonder,” said my bride while dishing out the porridge to a few grandkids and ourselves. “We’ve been avoiding the bear facts for years, and now they’re coming out to get us.” Ever since the bears stopped hibernating, they’ve been sending their cubs to school. Most bears now speak French, English, or Cree, and the younger generation is adept at reading. You kids better keep up at school, or the bears might grow up and take your jobs. Yes, some young bears are starting to dream about playing for the NHL, while others see themselves as princesses. Bears are taking over even the dreams of kids.

It was true. A Polar Bear called Charley, recently recognized as the new Monarch of Canada, influenced changing laws so that more bears were entering jobs that previously were only open to humans. Charley had two cubs, an heir and a spare bear. Perhaps you’ve seen Polar Bear and his cubs on a tooney? Like the sibling rivalry typical in humans, the spare Bear wrote a book about how he got fewer blueberries than his brother as a kid and that his part of the cave was smaller than his older brother’s. Everyone was very interested in the spare Bear’s story. I found the story overbearing and questioned the “bear facts” presented.

Churches, town councils, and indigenous groups often started their meetings, acknowledging that these unceded lands were once territories belonging to the bears. If raccoons, foxes, and deer felt left out, they still hadn’t found ways to formally let their feelings be known. Re-education programs for all animal minorities are starting as we witness the bears taking over. Bears have demonstrated bias against wolves for historical reasons, but many of these prejudices are against the law.

It was really quite simple. Bears used to spend up to half a year sleeping. When the bears became urbanized, they focused on education and quickly became as intelligent as humans. Bears took over most high-paying jobs while humans focused on jobs requiring opposable thumbs, such as mechanics and solving Rubric cubes.

Large urban satellite communities such as Bear Haven grew on the periphery of Ottawa, which led to the mass exodus of bears from rural areas to the cities. The Three Bears House, near Corkery, made famous by Goldilocks, was among the first houses to be occupied by bears. The plaque on the door designates heritage status. Bears have recently lived in urban dwellings, highrise apartments, and specially constructed underground caves. Giant box stores, such as Bear Necessities, BearMart, and Canadian Bears, competed for the recent rush of funds in the bear market.

Most bears worked for the government from home and were sore afraid when the government said they would have to return downtown and work in offices. Many of the bears weren’t sure exactly what their jobs entailed, which department they worked for, or just what the heck they were supposed to be doing. Would there be Bearflix on screen at the office?

Many influential bears started complaining about the cold winters, the mass transit systems that were constantly breaking down, and the inflation causing the rise in prices for blueberries, meatballs, and porridge.

Despite constantly complaining about the weather or inflation, many bears went south every winter to places such as Bearmuda or the Bearhamas. You can see them stretched out on beach towels, wearing sunglasses and packing on the pounds at the all-you-can-eat resorts.

Bears used to pack on the pounds in the fall to help them survive the winter. Now bears pack on weight all year except for those who are athletic and plan on participating in bear ballet dance or the Olympics on Synchronized swimming teams or other swimming competitions.

Many bears talk the talk about climate change, but other than using paper straws, they don’t even think about climate change. Bears have cornered the toilet paper markets and encouraged youths to use great wads while on the toilet. Whole forests are converted into luxury Bear Toilet Paper. Although bears are the leaders in wildlife and environmental organizations, as their wealth increased, so did their desire for luxury travel and bigger Hummers. Humans are beginning to question the myth that bears are better leaders. Most find the behaviour of the Russian Bear abhorrent. Power corrupts all, even bears.

Every time I go for a walk in the snow, stories like this one start falling out of my brain like snow in a blizzard. I don’t think my bride and I will make it to Bearmuda this winter, so I suspect I’ll find a few more stories hiding in a snowbank.

Best wishes

Richard van Duyvendyk


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