It seems like I’ve been out for a long time. I must have been really tired. What did I do last night? I have no memory of it, at all. I am trying to think, as my consciousness struggles to be awake. Now I can feel movement around me, like when Bruno would hop up on my bed. Bruno has been dead for a while. I try to open my peepers . I feel around me and my hand doesn’t feel right. What did I do? It doesn’t hurt, just does not feel right. I try to push myself up and look around, but I seem to have ‘morning’ eyes and they won’t open yet. I feel a wet and rough rub on my face that reminds again of Bruno who would like my face when it was time to feed him. Then something is pushing my face down into really warm fur and I feel a fleshy knob brush my lips. It smells good, and makes me feel hungry. I seem to automatically reach for this knob with my mouth and I taste a warm flow of delicious liquid, warm and milk like. What is going on here? I realize I am ... I am suckling. I feel all comfortable and warm inside. My curious mind is fading out and I fall asleep.
It is very hard to do much other than sleep when you can’t see and you feel soft and out of shape. I have grown dependent on that grunting warm body and the knobs. My recollections are sadly fading, but a few weeks ago, or so it seems, I was a person. I had a cozy cabin in the woods of Minnesota. I remember being an old timer, so, could I have died in my sleep? This new reality is pleasant, but it is not the heaven that I ...I anticipated. Could this be what that crap reinstating...no...reliving..no. I had to think. Then it popped in. Reincarnation. What am I now? I feel different. Wait. I think I can open my eyes. Yes. Good god almighty, I’m nestled up to a mama bear! She’s asleep. I’ve got to get the hell out of here. I feel a bump on my left side. I glance that way, and see a scrawny little baby bear snuggling up to me. I put up my hand to hold him away and I see a furry arm and a paw...with little claws in my vision. I have control over the movement! I bend my fingers and see this paw move. I’ve become a bear!
I see the momma bear’s eyes start flutter. She’s waking up. I am terrified, and can feel my furry body quivering. An involuntary mewing sound comes out of my...my muzzle. The momma bear lifts her her head and pushes her big head up. She yawns, huge mouth, full of yellowing teeth. What if she can tell? Can she she detect my former human-ness? She leans toward my quivering body and that rough, wet tongue licks my face and she nibbles at my ear with her bear lips. I can’t settle down. I can only hope that this panic doesn’t give my true identity away. Her huge paw pushed my little body back down to her knobs, her uh mammary glands. So that’s what those were... my subconscious seems to take over and I latch onto the knob. The warm milk helps me settle down; the quivering starts to slow. I suppose, for now, I am safe. I will try to relax. I will just let things happen. If I am now a baby bear in the wild, I would be just be food for some other critter if I try to escape. I’d better just stay here where it’s more or less safe.
Several weeks pass. I’m a little bear that follows the other little bear following the momma bear. I find I can tear bark off from fallen trees and eat moths and other bugs. They’re really not that bad. Sometimes we run into a blackberry patch, and eat all we can. I decided to name my ‘brother’ Louie, and I saw him snare a mouse and seemed to enjoy the bloody little morsel. I decide to try it, though the human in me seems to gag at the thought. But, I did it. I hopped over a log, and there were several on the other side, nibbling on something. I was surprised at the sweet flavor and satisfying protein. I decided, hell yes, I can do this bear life thing.
One morning, trailing along for a long time, I can hear the sound of rushing water. It is a nice sound. It starts to get really loud. I want to yell, “Water”, but a sound comes out that is more like a bark. “A river!” I say in my mind, and hear aaawwf aaauwf come out of my..muzzle. This is not good. I can’t talk in this status. I just make noise. My lips just cannot form the way they did as a human. I see Louie and ‘Momma’ watching me stand and make bear faces. They look confused. Momma lets out a growl, I think it means ‘get moving’ so I line up behind Louie again. We go over a mound in the ground, and there, beyond the trees, I can see the river. It is beyond beautiful. The water splashing over big rocks, white foam flying, and down below, a little waterfall. Again, I hear the momma growl, so I must give up this reverie and follow. I see Louie follow her into the fast current, but she turns with an angry face and growls. He scurries back to the wet ground, then hops on a boulder nearby.
Out in the water are other bears. Our momma bear takes a place near the water flowing past a boulder and right there! She catches a salmon flying past. Salmon. Oh my, I do miss salmon. She seems to be intent on feeding herself, so Louie and I, ears perked, watch her in fascination. Pretty soon, she catches a big one, and is bringing it over to us. She drops it, and it starts to flop around. I leap and grab it in my muzzle and give it a hard bite. For a short moment, I wonder how it will taste raw, but I quickly find out. It is good. Momma looks at me in satisfaction. Louie starts to pick it up and carry it off to eat it all. I can’t have that. So I jump on him, wanting to say, “That’s my fish!” but that aawrgh sound comes out again. He did drop it though, so I took another big bite, and glared at him. But, I did let him take a bite down by the fish tail. I kept the best part. I have decided to enjoy this life ... as a bear.