By Charles Towne

I like bears. 

It seems that bears are a lot more social than some people persons I know.

My friend, Buddy Bear and I were walking back in the big forest that surrounds the Wekiva river one day.

It was one of those just right sorts of days.  You know the kind of day I am talking about, just right for hiking with a good friend, sort of day.

The sun was warm and the air was cool… a perfect Florida day.

I always enjoy hiking with my bear friends because they are never in a hurry.  It seems that we humans could learn a lot from the bears and one of the things that we could learn is to slow down and enjoy life a little bit more.

We had spent some time in the big berry patch, not talking, just eating, until, filled to the brim, and overflowing, we decided to head for the swamp. 

We met Galloosha, a lady bear with her two cubs and after rubbing noses in greeting, (that by the way is just one of the ways bears say hello) we sat on an ancient cypress stump and visited.

As we visited, Galloosha’s cubs, Tuffy and Burl were scrambling around chasing each other, and being full of life as are most cubs.  They climbed over everything and everyone, their mother, Buddy, and me included, until they wore themselves out and had to take a nap.

As we sat there, just enjoying each others company I asked, “ Have either of you seen Mersy bear lately.”

Mersy bear is a young lady bear that I met in the big berry patch one day but I hadn’t seen her for some time.  Oh, and what a sweet young bear she is.

With my question, I noticed  that Buddy and Galloosha glanced at each other, and they said nothing for a few minutes until Galloosha said in a low voice, “Mersy is no more.”

“No more?”  I said.

“No Chuck, Mersy is no more,”  Buddy said.

There were tears in his voice as he said this, and when I glanced at Galloosha I noticed tears in her eyes as well.

Sensing their pain I asked, “My friends, what happened to Mersy bear?”

Galloosha moaned and tenderly touched her sleeping cubs as Buddy told me the sad news.

Mersy bear had been eating acorns in the oak grove on the other side of the river and was on her way back to the big forest.  She was crossing the big, long rock when a man thing that carries people roared out of nowhere and struck her.

The man-thing that carries people roared on out of sight and was gone, but Mersy was terribly injured.  She dragged herself into the forest, and that is where we found her.”

“And so, Mersy is no more… no more.”

With this sad news, Galloosha gathered her cubs, Tuffy and Burl close, and she looked at me with a very sad expression and said, “Chuck, all of the bears trust you.  We all think that the great creator made you with a bear’s heart, but it seems that the other humans aren’t going to be happy until all the bears are gone”

Remember dear reader: Any fool can kill, it takes wisdom to protect.

There was A wise man by the name of John Muir, (He was the father of our national parks system) that once said. “If a war of races should occur between the wild beasts and Lord man, I would be tempted to sympathize with the bears.”

(Please dear reader, don’t get the idea that I value animal’s lives above the lives of humans because I don’t. I just like to believe that we were put here for some other purpose than to destroy.)

Photos by Charles Towne

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. It does seem that man has a penchant for destruction, people, places and things all fall when they stand in the way of selfish desire! Man has done some great things, but more often than not we just satisfy our own desire and never think things through, how our desires will affect others, if they will cause harm or do good. That may be one of the reasons behind the “golden rule”! If nature ever starts using that rule backwards like we do, man is in big trouble!
    Papa God seems to have made us smart enough, we need to use our smarts and pray for “wisdom”!

  2. Richard my friend, point well taken! It has been my experience that bears operate from pure instinct. People on the other hand, when they are around bears, act from stupidity and there is nothing pure about stupidity. I believe with all my heart that for us to know what is right doesn’t mean much if we don’t do what is right. Chaz

  3. Dear NH, people have a tendency to behave as if they are smarter than God, and in that belief we have, or so it seems, bought our own species to the brink of destruction. A pox on ALL politicians! Chaz

  4. Too many humans pilot their three-ton machines on the long rock preoccupied with their electronic devices or conversations/thoughts rather than focusing on the task at hand. This results in death or injury to both man and beast – both precious in God’s eyes. Learn from the bears – slow down and use wisdom and common sense – lives depend on it…

  5. Charles, so nice to hike through the forest, jungle … Nature. We miss it !!! And also it would be precious to do it with “somebody” as a deer, wolf, wild cat, bear, any friend that gives us the pleasure to enjoy what we miss.
    GOD Bless You little Bro !!!

  6. Mike, it was William Beebe that said, “The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer, but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again,” Bless you dear friend, Chaz

  7. Oh Leo, my brother in Christ, the picture you paint on the pallet of my mind is something I conceive as possibility in the earth made new by a loving creator! Bless you and yours pal, Chaz

  8. Slowing down a little and paying attention to the world we live in is a great way to protect each other and the creatures God placed here. Every life lost is a life too many.

  9. Yes Jorge, you are so right. Slow down and smell the roses is always good advice in a world gone mad with busy work. Blessings Jorge, Chaz

  10. AHH, Herbert, you do me great honor. All I am ding is sharing what Papa God has gifted me with. Bless you and yours with abundant love and grace, Chaz

  11. I love animal stories, probably because I love animals. I truly think animals love you, Chuck, because they know you love them and mean them no harm.
    It is just sad that some folks don’t care and are just ignorant of living in harmony with each other and nature. I say we pray a hedge of protection around those creatures who find themselves in harm’s way. Let’s also pray for those uncaring selfish people who have no respect for others or God’s creation. May their conscience not be seared, but finely in-tuned with life beyond themselves.


  13. Chaz my dear friend, I find I must disagree with you because I have found that stupidity may be the ONLY pure trait in mankind’s present makeup! We can’t be so good at it by chance!

  14. Richard my dear friend, I stand corrected. You are absertootlooterly correct. Most folks brang stupidity to a fine degree of perfection when it comes to the animal world. Chaz

  15. Dear Mr. Towne, your tale is very touching. So many aren’t in tune with nature. I have to agree with John Muir’s observation. I am sure I would also have to sympathize with our furry friends. Thank you for such a sweet and touching tale. Sincerely, Kathy A.

  16. Dear Kahy, thank you so much for the thoughtful and kind comment. It has been said that John Muir was the father of our national parks. Surely he was a wise man and contributed much to the preservation of our parks as we know them today. Chaz

  17. Dear Friend, you provoked a thought with your comment. I agree with your premise wholeheartedly, especially in this age when information is so easily available. It is called the information age for a good reason. We can access any and all information with just the click of a button, No, there is nothing pure about ignorance or stupidity. I am sure Richard made his comment tongue in cheek, Thanks for the comment, Chaz

  18. Hi Charles, I have to agree with your statements about humans thinking they are smarter than God that we excel at taking life when he is the only one that can give it. Aye aye aye! God help us and help us treat our animals and the earth better. Hope all is well with you, Charles. 🙂

  19. O Kristin, my dear friend, it is so very good to hear from you! It is for us to treasure life, all life, not take it. There will be more of Buddy bears adventures in the future. I miss our conversations muchly. May Papa God Bless you and give you much joy dear heart. Chaz

  20. You write wonderful stories my friend you’re a great environmentalist human being and a very interesting rider I always look forward to your work and your adventures in the wilderness with our great creatures of the wild

    You write wonderful stories my friend you’re a great environmentalist human being and a very interesting rider I always look forward to your work and your adventures in the wilderness with our great creatures of the wild.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here