By Charles Towne

Nick saw the cute little bear cub first and he called, “Aww Frank, come here quick and see the cute little bear cub.”

The two men stood at the base of the small cedar and stared up at the object of their attention in fascination while they talked in low tones.

“How much do you suppose the little guy weighs?”  Frank asked.

“Oh, if I was to guess I would say twenty or thirty pounds, no more than that,” Nick offered.

The two outdoorsmen knew enough to never monkey around with a bear cub in the wild. And they also knew that mama bears don’t take kindly to humans harassing their offspring, but they decided to disregard these facts.

Nick and Frank were camping way up in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Northern Michigan. It was mid-summer and the wildlife was in fine fettle. That is to say that the mosquitoes and no-see-ums were so thick they at times blotted out the sun.

Later, neither man could remember which of them came up with the idea of catching the “cute little bear cub”. In fact, they each denied it with great fervor.

Someone said, “Man, that little tree would be real easy to climb!”

Someone else said, “Yeah, and there is that piece of rope back at the tent!”

Now, at this point, I am going to let imagination tell the rest of the story.

Nick runs to the tent and fetches the aforementioned rope.

Frank begins to climb the tree with the rope to catch the “cute little bear cub”, at which time he will lower the “cute little bear cub” to Nick, and Nick will grab the “cute little bear cub” and hold it until Frank reaches the ground.

This part of the plan was wonderful, and good, but they had no clue what they were going to do with the “cute little bear cub” once they had captured it.

Oh well, they thought, something would come to mind.

Frank approached the “cute little bear cub” and called down to Nick that the “cute little bear cub” looked a lot bigger up close!

Frank reached out to place the rope around the “cute little bear cub’s” neck.

What is that old saying about, “the best laid plans of mice, men, and idiots trying to catch ‘cute little bear cubs’, oft-times go awry”?

When that rope touched the “cute little bear cub,” for some strange reason known only to itself, the cub suddenly went berserk.  Another word that describes the “cute little bear cub’s” antics at this point is, amok, which is best described as, a murderous frenzy!

Berserk bear cubs have the remarkable ability to transform themselves into meat grinder / wood chippers at a moment’s notice, with no warning.

Yeah sure, just a “cute little bear cub.”

The first clue that all was not well was the terrible yowling and screaming and frantic movement up in the top of the tree.

Concerned, Nick called to his buddy, “Be careful Frank, don’t hurt the poor little guy!”

It took only a moment for Nick to figure out that not all of that screaming and shouting was coming from the “cute little bear cub.” Unless “cute little bear cubs” can shout things like “OUCHHHH!!  Oh NO! Get away from me! HELP!  Oh dear lord, IT’S KILLING ME!”

Nick, obviously the sensitive sort, called out, “Come on Frank, leave the poor little guy alone. If he falls from way up there he might get hurt.”

Frank, in full agreement, was calmly, gleeping, moaning and screaming, but the “cute little bear cub” wanted to play.

If by chance you ever find yourself in such a predicament as our misbegotten friend Frank, there is really only one thing that you can do: let go and fall!

Frank let go, and fell.

As falls go it was not a spectacular fall, a mere twenty feet, and due to the fact that Frank hit every branch on the tree at least twice on his way down – which, according to all the laws of nature and man, should have been an impossibility – he was basically uninjured. Oh yes, he did have an egg-sized knot on his head, three cracked ribs, a broken left arm and pinkie finger on his right hand, but other than that, like I said, he was uninjured. The “cute little bear cub” escaped, without a scratch, as did the tree

As he woke, Frank was mumbling something about the “cute little bear cub” trying to eat him.

Now we know that a “cute little bear cub” of a mere twenty or thirty pound can’t possibly eat a full grown man, therefore credit must be given to a previously unknown growth gene, because the “cute little bear cub” grew into a two hundred pound black bear by the time Frank was able to tell the story the second time. Since Frank had his, “cute little bear cub” experience, the bear in question has reached the gargantuan size of three, four, and even five hundred pounds, with no sign of slowing its growth rate anytime soon.


Dear Lord, please protect me from fools… and crazy ideas that can kill me… and particularly from myself. I praise you Lord God! I don’t have a clue where you are taking me, but I know it is going to be fun. Thank you, Friend-God, for ridding me of guilt and shame, and for revealing to me the principle of joyful Christianity!

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. Usually, in my experience, when decisions like this are made, there is alcohol involved somewhere! But in any case it does remind me of Albert Einstein’s quote that the only infinite things he could think of were the universe and human stupidity, and he was not so sure if the former!

  2. Richard, there is that obvious element that tells us that if a mama had been present the incident likely wouldn’t have happened due to the fact that mama’s have a preternatural tendency to prevent “fun” from taking place in the first place. Also, my two friends were teetotalers which pretty well determines that the “lard” gene, which is only found in unsupervised males of somewhat questionable intelligence had kicked in, and it also proves the old saying that the Good Lord takes care of old men, children and fools. Bless all fools. Chaz

  3. I love this story. It brings back memories of every wild critter I have tried to befriend. Some things are best left in their indigenous habitat….primarily bears. Bears have lots of sharp teeth and claws.
    Keep writing and sharing….God has blessed you with the gift of storytelling.

  4. Dear NH, Yes, He has blessed me with the gift of storytelling, but without the experiences there would be no stories! Wow, we do live life don’t we? Bless you my dear friends, Chaz

  5. Richard – I too was waiting for the “here, hold my beer” line but Chuck indicates that his reporting was complete with all the facts. I’m certain that Mama bear was not far off laughing her butt off at the two fools. Looks like the cute little bear cub passed mama’s class “Dealing With Humans 101”. Keep the stories coming – they make my Sunday mornings.

    • Dear Mike, as much as I hate to admit it I think that I could benefit from mama bears, “Dealing with humans 101” class. Bears are so often nicer people than people. Just saying. Bless you and yours my friend, Chaz

  6. Suzette just said, upon finishing this weeks story, he sure is a great story teller. Yes he sure is great and having his stories impart a principal or idea and the while giving us a good laugh. Stay well Charlie.

  7. Herb and Suzette, dear friends, being able to laugh is a great joy, a great gift. An even greater gift is being able to tell life’s stories in such a way as to give a laugh to others. Thanks for the gift of your joy! Bless you both, Chaz

  8. I can still see your friend up in the tree with “that cute little bear cub.”
    I’m sure he had a story to tell, with all the details of an exciting bear adventure. But, I wonder what kind of story was told by “that cute little bear cub?” I can just imagine his friends rolling in laughter talking about those crazy humans in the tree…especially the “hitting the ground with a thud part!
    I think you were right….the mama must have had a wonderful laugh as she watched from a nearby thicket. Never-the-less, it was a day to remember by all involved.
    Keep up the good work, Chuck and have a blessed day!!


  10. Poor fella…the fact that the bear keeps growing only seems to make one question how he had any desire to climb up there with him in the first place! Too funny!

  11. Faithy my dear, aint it the truth!, we fellas tend to do some goofy things, and catching bear cubs is one of the most reasonable if not sane ventures we might approach with little or no consideration of the consequences. Blessings on you all, your papa

  12. Dear Charles, Reminds me of the foolish man I met while camping, who bated a bear cub into his car trunk and slammed it shut. I don’t recall how it escaped but, recall that it tore through and into the front of his car and destroyed it. Meanwhile mother bear arrived and did unsermontable damage to the outside. We are foolish souls that believe we can play with the devil.

  13. Lolita, On my camping trips into the Boundary Waters country of Canada we would park our vehicles at the outfitters, lock them securely, and leave them as we canoed into the wilderness for a week long camping/fishing trip. The outfitter would invariably warn us about leaving any food in our cars, BUT, invariably there would be one camper that would disregard this warning to return days later to a vehicle totally destroyed by bears. Windows would be smashed, doors would be peeled open, seats would be ripped apart, wiring would be demolished. They would try to hold the outfitter responsible, But, they had been warned! A bears claws are very good at opening the glorified tin cans on wheels. Such an encounter has a tendency to take all the joy out of an adventure. The nut case that you describe deserved what he got from the adorable little cub and mama bear. God bless us all and protect us from all idiots, Amen

  14. Two springs ago when I put my dog, Corbin, out for his nightly ritual, a large bear charged with gaping teeth-lined maw up the steps. Corbin turned and raced inside, I slammed the door in the bear’s face. It left claws marks on the door step. Turns out, a cub was in tree on the opposite side of the doorway. The bear was simply doing what mother bears do – she was protecting her offspring. That instinct is Creator instilled, and best not to mess with it. I truly enjoy each of your episodes!

  15. Judith, there is an interesting phenomenon at work here. My experience is that southern bears are much less likely to carry through with a charge than northern bears. The chance of a charge is less likely to result in contact with our Florida bears, even when cubs are involved. If you had not acted promptly as you did that mama could have ended up in your cabin. Bless you all, Chaz

  16. Little Bro, I Always Love to take and embrace a Little Bear Like this … But sometimes happens such an accidents and Unconscious things like that. Love your Nature stories and Experiences. YOU ROCK, CHUCK !!! Love Y Man !!! GOD Bless U … You’re My Best Storyteller and Bro !!!

  17. Leo, Leo, Leo, my friend, Embracing a little bear like this gives me dreams of Claws, sharp claws! Teeth, sharp teeth! Sharp claws and sharp teeth! Very sharp claws and very sharp teeth! What a formula for incisions and cute little nibbles on ones tender carcass. And all the time you are hugging the cute little bear cub it is screaming and yowling for its mama! Oh yah, how much fun can one have! Too much excitement! You have a blessed day, Chaz


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