by Cathy Allie
I picked up a drive through meal for my daughter the other night as we rushed from one event to another in a very busy week, and while not tempted to have a full meal, I decided to treat myself to a kid’s portion. With the meal came a little bottle of chocolate milk, which I downed quickly, and the cutest book entitled, “Bear Wants More.”
My daughter had a great time reading it aloud to me between her hurried bites. She sounded just like me reading a kid’s book to her little girl self, and we both decided she would have been thrilled to get that paperback in a kid’s meal.
Besides really pretty illustrations, the book had lovely predictable rhymes, just enough figurative language not to be sappy, and a hint for me. Not sure how to tell you all this, but I may, just may, be a bear.
In the story Bear wakes up after his long winter hibernation, and he is hungry. I don’t know if the six or so hours I sometimes sleep at night counts as a hibernation, but I do wake up hungry. In fairness, I also text hungry, drive hungry, work hungry, and shower hungry. Basically I am hungry.
Bear tries a little “salad”, in fact nibbling on his lawn down to the last blade. And the book’s refrain then comes into play, when the next line reads, “But Bear wants more!”
I also eat salad, maybe not first thing after a nap, but I try. I love a good romaine lettuce, maybe a little fresh spinach, or even iceberg if forced, well-rinsed and chilled from the refrigerator. And like Bear, I want more.
I want a little more dressing than the two tablespoons I am supposed to have, maybe a sprinkle of cheese, and few sunflower seed kernels, something to make it crunchy like won ton strips, and maybe even some ham or turkey or a hard-boiled egg. Suddenly, it’s not a salad, but more like a three course meal.
Bear has a mouse friend, one who can eat all he wants, and he leads him to get some strawberries. Bear eats a bunch, but as you might already guess, he wants more.
I have mouse friends whom I both love and despise at the same time because of their well-functioning metabolisms, and I also eat fruit. And I always want more. Two or three strawberries are not enough. I can slice a whole pineapple for my family to share, but what should last a couple of days usually doesn’t, because I want more.
Bear’s adventures also include eating too much clover (which I have not tried but am seriously thinking about), some fish, and some honey cakes. Honey cakes? Is it possible there is a dessert I have not heard about?
Bear gets pretty full, and his tummy aches, so he stretches out, and a nap ensues. Much to the delight of his animal friends, he snores through his nap, only to wake up to find he still wants more.
With this additional evidence, I am now almost 100% sure I am a bear. I had a pre-Mother’s Day dinner, came home and slept, undoubtedly snored, and still wanting more, had a great Mother’s Day brunch the next day to boot.
Then, like a rinse and repeat shampoo commercial, I took a nap (not in a den, but in a fully darkened room with threats to my family to keep noise levels down), woke up and had dinner. Basically I slept and ate for two whole days, so very, very bear like.
On the last page of the book are upcoming episodes to look for, like Bear Feels Sick (so did I, after all that food), and Bear Can’t Sleep, surely a mirroring tale of my insomnia episodes.
The only clues I have that I might not be the bear’s twin sister are that he has some really fine fur, and my hair no longer grows like I would like it to; he has some pretty fierce claws, and I at least try to keep my nails manicured; and he is content in the woods, whereas my idea of roughing it is a hotel without room service.
As my daughter finished reading about Bear to me, I smiled and said, “ I myself might be a bear, huh?” and she contemplated it for a minute.
“Maybe,” she said, “But I have always thought of you more as a lioness or maybe a penguin.”
Too tired to explore her reasoning behind equating me with a voracious meat-eater or a wobbly iceberg dweller, I am going with lioness. At least there would likely be a steak involved, just a little light snack before my nap.