A black bear cub sat eating cereal on the kitchen floor. The woman had never seen this bear cub before. The Cheerios box was split open, little o’s scattered everywhere. “Oh,” she said. “A bear. A very cute bear.” The bear paused for a moment as if it knew it was a very cute bear. She got the broom and started to sweep the cereal into a pile. The bear watched her while it ate.

“We have a bear,” she told her husband when he walked in the door.

“We have a bear?”

“Yes. A small one. It likes Cheerios. It also likes People magazine. And Smithsonian. It’s a very eclectic bear.”

The bear cub was on the living room floor. It was doing yoga, Happy Baby pose. It stopped and sat up.

“We have a bear,” her husband said.

“Yes,” she said. “We do.”

“This is weird.”

“I know,” she said. “I think it came in through the old dog door.”

“Where did this bear come from? Where?”

“Out of thin air.”

“This isn’t going to work.”

“You dropped the rhyme,” she said.

“This isn’t going to work,” he said again.

“Just for a day.”

“It’s a cute bear,” he said. “Maybe it wants to play ball.”

*     *     *

The bear cub liked spaghetti, hot dog buns, and oatmeal cookies. It liked the velour throw pillows. It liked Louis Armstrong. The bear liked the sleeping bag that smelled of campfires, and the bear liked the fort built with chairs and a bed sheet.

*     *     *

Her husband came into the kitchen for breakfast. “I smell coffee,” he said. “Where’s the bear?”

“I thought maybe it was in the tree,” she said. She was standing at the kitchen window looking outside.

“The tree?” He stood next to her and looked outside. “I don’t see it.”

“I think the bear’s gone. It’s just the two of us again.”



He put his arm around her waist. “We’re okay,” he said.

“I know. Sometimes I just wonder.”

“I understand. Sometimes I wonder, too.”

“The bear was sweet,” she said.

“It was funny on the bongos.”

She leaned her head against his shoulder. “We’re okay,” she said.


Photo credit: gainesp2003 / Foter.com / CC BY-NC