by Pierce Nahigyan
The bear stole some berries.
Of course it was much easier to pick them off the bushes where they grew wild, but the man and woman had a whole basketful of succulent treasures, raspberries and blackberries, blueberries, and some scrumptiously green acini that were as big as his toes – whatever they were he wanted them immediately. And the bear had always been a hopeless impulsive. So he decided right there to take them.
When he was younger he had to manage his thievery in the most clever manner. Bolder humans thought nothing of menacing a cub. The orneriest usually came at him armed to their pathetic teeth (and with such pathetic teeth, he could hardly blame them). But now he was a great big shaggy thing and blundering into a campsite, a’grunting and a’snorting, stirring up a general hullabaloo, making a nasty ruckus, was all it took to get the goods.
He flopped onto the thick bush he’d been hiding behind, and growled up the thick snot he’d been holding in his chest. His sneezy bellow startled the campers, and they started at his thrashing, and when they saw him, oh yes, they screamed like plummeting falcons. Unthinking, the man leapt away with the basket still in his hands.
The bear most certainly did not want to pursue them. That was a good way to get shot. Even he had more sense than that. But those delightfully buxom drupelets… He gave chase, and an annoyed roar.
Much later, when he awoke in the cage, grape juice on his lips, the accordion tied to his paws, he was appalled to discover that men had much less sense than bears.
But they were also much better at stealing.