Thomas Doty – Storyteller


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The Bear

I've never seen the bear who roams these woods. In North Umpqua old growth, he wanders through memories of Indians who sought visions here. They piled rocks into cairns, marked medicine trees, arranged stone circles.

I've never seen the bear, but I've visited the pine needle bed where he sleeps and where he's roughed up the duff and clawed trees for ants and beetles. I've heard heavy crashing. And once I saw a shadow shaped like a standing bear, or a man, but it was too dim to tell.

I've never seen the bear. He wanders the woods, a memory of Indians who slept here and ate here and dreamed powerful dreams.