As he would occasionally do when taking a solitary walk, he shifted into another being. This time it was a brown bear, to enable him to climb a tree and survey the forest from a different point of view.
This was his first time as a bear. He relished the feeling of powerful ease with which he was able to use his claws on the rough bark of the tall, thick pine he’d picked, and the total absence of his usual fear of heights. But he also noticed how thoughts and associations not his own were infiltrating, which he knew to come from being a bear. His sense of smell had increased tremendously, to a degree that was overwhelming. He could sense that there was carrion nearby, and his sensitivity to traces of urine and dung in the vicinity was acute.
His human soul was somewhat let down because his bear-self did not think of his surroundings as beautiful – they were his habitat and therefore entirely normal.
Stirrings of hunger were there, and they were for the dead animal about 20 yards away, for other things his human self did not consider terribly appetizing, but also for the chocolate in his own backpack which he’d hung from the lower branches of a smaller tree.
Time to return and attack that chocolate before some other bear would try and get to it.
– James Steerforth ( © 2009 )