The Bear of Memories

by Timothy Schaekel

“Do you remember Daddy, do you remember when we went to the cabin and the bear came close to attacking us?”

“Yes I do. That was a very scary moment Molly, why do you bring it up?”

“I just love the story Daddy could you tell it again?”

“One day, Daddy and his three children went to their cabin in Grand Marais.”

“What were the children’s names, Daddy, what were they?”

“Well, let’s see.  There was Molly.  There was Elizabeth.  And there was Little Ben.”

The children smiled as they heard their names.

“Everything seemed safe.  Everything was quiet.  It was the day before Christmas.  Daddy and the children knew that this Christmas was going to be different.  It would not be the same without Mommy.”

“Daddy went out on the deck and into the woods to get some air, while the children listened to Christmas carols and anticipated what they might get for Christmas. “

“I, I got a Tonka truck,” Little Ben shouted.

“I remember, we were listening to “Deck the Halls. I love that song.  Can we sing it Daddy?”  Elizabeth added to the excitement.

“We will, right after we finish this story.  You do want to hear it don’t you?”

“Yeah!” All the children said joyfully in unison.

“Daddy heard something in the woods.  He turned and looked.  There was a great big bear.”

He heard a disturbance in the woods and saw a bear.  He wasn’t scared at first just curious.  He imagined the bear mauling him to death.  He felt some comfort about the idea.  He wanted to be with his wife.  He wished his wife was with him, and that he could spend Christmas together as a family.

“But, Daddy wasn’t scared.”

“You weren’t scared Daddy?”

“Oh, no, wasn’t scared the least bit.  The great big bear roared at Daddy, and came chasing after him.”

Suddenly, he heard the noise louder and closer.  The bear was running at him.  The he stood there for a moment not reacting.  He wanted his dream to come true.  He wanted the bear to maul him.

“Then what happened, Daddy, what happened next?” Molly spoke up with anticipation.

“Daddy tackled the bear with his own two hands, pinned him to the ground, looked him in the eye and said, ‘Leave my children alone.’”

Then he remembered his children.  He thought it wasn’t fair that a sickness like cancer could take his wife away and the mother from his children.  It wasn’t fair that a bear was now threatening to kill him and his family.  He couldn’t lose any more.  He threw a rock at the bear.  The bear was distracted by the rock enough that he could escape safely back to the cabin. When he arrived, he hugged his children, told them to go to bed and he went to bed too.  For the first time since his wife died, he could sleep without crying.

“And he left and never came back, Daddy?” Elizabeth asked in innocence.

“That mean old bear wouldn’t dare come back.  He knows that no one can mess with your Daddy.  Daddy defeated the bear, went back to the cabin, hugged and kissed his children good night, and they all went to bed waiting for Christmas morning.  Theeeeee End.”

Timothy Schaekel lives in Minnesota, where he is a student of ministry. He enjoys his time writing fiction stories, reading, and singing karaoke, among other things. He spends much of his time with his family and friends.

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