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3/16/2008

The Old Man And The Bear

An old man once lived in the mountains and loved the bear who lived in a cave near his hut. The Bear and the old man, they knew each other well. Time and again they encountered each other. The bear connived the man in his area and the old man loved to have this powerful animal in his proximity too.

One day a harsh winter came in the country and the old man found nothing to hunt. His food stocks were exhausted and he for two weeks he had been hungry. If the winter continued to remain that harsh, he would die of hunger. The old man knew, however, that the bear lay in his cave and that he might kill the bear in his sleep. As a result, he would have enough food to survive the winter.

"I am old, perhaps my time has come to leave?", asked the old man himself, "Would I want to live in this valley, where the mighty bear no longer streaks through the area?"

The old man was beyond the point, where the hunger tormented him. He felt well and was in good spirits, although he grew weaker day by day.

"What was to be done? To die or to kill the bear?" The old man did not know what he should do so he waited for a dream. His whole life long he had taken important decisions because of dreams.

His sleep was quiet and intense. Favored by the hunger the old man dreamed very intense, but another week passed by and no dream of decision arrived.

Then he dreamed, that he crept in the cave of the bear in order to kill him. He shot the bear with his rifle and when he turned the bear around to see if he was still alive, he looked into his own face. It was clear to him that if he killed the bear, he would kill himself. "But I have nothing left to eat and nobody will help me in this winter, nobody will come."

The old man was very clearly in his heart, when he decided his death. He would wait and starve. He would not be the first and not the last hermit in the woods suffering such a fate.

He slept calmed. In the dream that followed he dreamed of the places where he had been in his life, he was filled with deep love. Suddenly it knocked at his door. In a second in his dream, he was back in his cabin. He opened the door and saw the bear. They said nothing to one another, but he understood the Bear.

"Follow me."

The bear went ahead and showed the old man a way that he had not known. There was a small pond under a rock protrusion. Then the bear disappeared.

The old man awoke. He felt from the middle of his body what to do. He grabbed the always ready packed backpack, put on warm clothes and left the hut. He followed the path, which he had seen in the dream. And true, there was a small road behind a thicket. In all these years he had not noticed it. He followed the way down and found the frozen pond. But in the middle of the ice, he saw fish stuck in the ice. Many fish, big fish. He was rescued. He spent the day extracting a few fish from the ice and then returned to his cabin. The bear has saved my life, thought the man full of gratitude.

7 comments:

Amarendra said...

Fantastic Story!

Thanks for sharing, helped me in my turmoil.

By the way, it was great receive your question and comment at http://unsee.blogspot.com/.

Hope we continue the "dialogue";-) Or, start new ones!

Ray Gratzner said...

Hello amarendra,
thank you for your feedback which helps me.

Swahilya Shambhavi said...

Nice story. just shows that love and good will always show the more beautiful ways to handle difficult situations in life.

The Fearless Blog said...

Fascinating story. I must think about your story more carefully, but when I think of the bear, three words come to mind: strong, free and wise. When I think of the old man in the story I can't help but think of those three words as well. We are all connected in this world. Are we not?

Ray Gratzner said...

Hello the fearless blog. You are right, we are all connected. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it helps me to understand how to write effective

Tania said...

Wonderful story! Not only does it show our oneness with all of life but also the importance to take the time to listen to one's inner knowing or voice and let that voice guide us.
Blessings,
~Tania

Ray Gratzner said...

Dear tania,the inner voice is a competent mentor. Thank your for your comment.