Bears were my companions from an early age…or at least teddy bears played a role in helping me fend for myself in the world. For our trip out west, a dear acquaintance of my grandmother made a sleeping bag with a pillow, and clothing for my miniature bear. This bear fit in my hand, and had articulated arms and legs. Horatio, the bear, often volunteered for role play. He was faithful and stayed by my side day and night. And Horatio was partly to blame for my not putting Bears and Humans in proper perspective. Smokey the Bear was also responsible…and Yogi Bear reinforced this warped anthropomorphism when he arrived on the Television scene.
But I never took my love of bears to such an extreme as Timothy Treadwell of Grizzly Man fame (a documentary by Werner Herzog in 2005). Timothy may have walked among the bears, but he got eaten by one too.