A Walk in The Forest; a Cautionary Tale

A short essay by Joan M.


“I like to walk in the forest alone because I can walk as far as I want without anyone telling me to slow down or take a rest. Sometimes I will sit quietly under a tree and watch the small animals scamper around me. Chipmunks chase each other over and under the fallen leaves while the squirrels climb trees and jump limb to limb with such ease – always looking for food to stuff in their cheeks.

I have often been told that it is dangerous to go into the woods alone, especially if you are planning to spend the night in an old cabin that was once found nestled under a group of pine trees.

My friends tell me I am too stubborn to listen to reason. My answer is;

“What could possibly happen in a forest so close to a nearby small town?”

At the cabin in the woods, it was earlier than usual for lunch, but I decided to cook the hot dogs and warm up the baked beans that I brought from home. The smell of the food cooking on the old stove made my mouth water.

Then, all of a sudden, I heard a snort. Something was moving around outside. Then to my horror I saw a bear looking at me through the glass window on the other side of the room.

Okay, now I was concerned. I had no weapon to fight this huge animal. What was I to do? I had not planned for this big, black hairy guest. And believe me, I was nervous.

Now, don’t ask me why, but I started to sing a song that we sang as kids when we went camping with my dad. And I sang it over and over and louder and louder.

“The bear went over the mountain.

The bear went over the mountain.

The bear went over the mountain!” (Hold that last note!)

“To see what he could see.”

I knew I didn’t have a good singing voice, but who knew it was SO BAD that it would insult a bear. He disappeared from the window. Slowly I peeked out. I’m pretty sure I saw him put his paws over his ears as he ran away.

Needless to say, I left the cabin immediately. I kept watching for the bear as I ran, but he was nowhere to be seen. I thought he might come back the next day to eat the hot dogs and beans. But I’m not sure if he did.

One thing I DO know. I’m not going back into the forest to check!




NOTE: My sister Joan at 89, took a writing class and wrote this tale. The instructions were to write a story that included the words, forest, fight, glass, stubborn, and song. I think she did very well, so I included it here.

Cabin:  Photo by Olivier Guillard on Unsplash

Bear: Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

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