SHAKESBEAR – A HUMOUROUS THRILLER I was born in a world of pitch-black darkness because I was born blind. My mother nursed me for a few months and as she had promised I began to see. I was in awe of the supernatural beauty of the Kootenays mountain range of British Columbia, which for generations has been our place to roam. Mama taught me the ways of the forest and I began to grow and learned how to survive in the wild. It was necessary for my survival because my father was hunting me. He wanted me dead. Then one day a raging fire erupted and engulfed the forest and compelled us to seek sanctuary in the tiny lakeside community of Christina Lake. A gentle, old lady allowed us to stay in a tree in her backyard. her rough life was evident in the sadness in her eyes but she always had a smile on her face for she was always happy to see her grandson when he visited her with his father and his father’s newly found girlfriend. Because of the closeness that comes with living in proximity and perhaps also the young age that carries no prejudices, an inexplicable thing happened—the grandson and I became close friends. Together we watched TV and our favourite movie was ‘The Jungle Book’, read storybooks, played in a water pool and, of course, play fetch! It was odd you see, because I am a bear. The lady’s son and his girl friend were always plotting sinister scheme to swindle money out of the old lady. But she was smart and could see right through them. She tolerated their nasty behaviour for the sake of protecting her grandson. She had reasons that are difficult to explain for growing Marijuana in her backyard and it was up to my Mama and me to protect her crop from ogling eyes. But one day a misfortune brought her face to face with the law enforcement agency. They threatened to burn down her crop and arrest her and in the struggle that ensued my mother got shot. I was chased out of the town and forced to seek sanctuary in the nearby forest. Surviving the forest through my wild instincts, I avoided the danger of confronting my father and eventually found solace in the back yard of a doctor lady in Rossland, called, ‘Trapper Gail, MD’. She used to trap mice to rid her house of them. I grew very fond of her. Then a calamity fell, she packed her bags and left to work in the Middle East. She had wandering feet. But my good fortune soon returned as the kind old lady of Christina Lake had relocated herself to Rossland and had taken over the house of Trapper Gail MD. As I grew older and left my childhood behind I knew that destiny was compelling me to face my demons no matter what. I had to find my father and drive him out of the forest. A very confusing situation evolved as unfolding events around me saw my life collapsing like falling dominos. It became a do or die situation and no one could do anything to change that. My story is like many other heart-wrenching, true stories that are common amongst us black bears. But how could a bear tell his story? So, my story remained a secret for a very long period of time. That is up until now. Read my story, the story of every black bear cub, from the beguiling point of view of a bear and judge for yourself. Our survival depends on it. ‘Shakesbear’ is truly a dilemma of a bear cub wondering ‘To Bear or Not to Bear’! It is an interesting point of view because as you may have gathered by now that it is a bear telling the story of humans that have unashamedly taken so much away from us. I believe we need to give us bears a chance to tell their side of the story, don’t you?