The wind was picking up speed under the mid-afternoon sun. The autumn leaves collided into each other from high above and those that could no longer hold their positions made the flight down towards Tova. There were intermittent sounds of movements surrounding her but when Tova followed the sound, there was nothing she could see. Tova had walked a long distance in this forest and did not encounter any bears. The amber-tone rays of light alerted her that it may be time to head back home.
In a distance, Tova could see the silhouette of a rotund creature blending itself into the tree trunk. At that very moment, she was scared. Did the bear eat already? Scary thoughts crossed her bunny head as she deciphered the creature from the same brown tone of the tree truck. Sharp claws. Razor sharp teeth. The growling sounds of a hungry stomach. She could turn back at this point. No harm done. She was still out of the creature’s range of sight.
Tova took a deep breath. She shook off the nonsense in hear head. This was her chance to meet the creatures of the forest and replace the long-held theories of what they are with the facts! With this logic, Tova courageously hopped towards the creature. At the base of the tree, the bear lounged in the cradle of the tree trunk, basking under the sun. A slow humming sound vibrated from his tummy.
“Hello,” Tova said when she stood in front of the bear.
The bear stared blankly at her.
“My name is Tova. Nice to meet you,” Tova curtseyed.
“How did you get here?” The bear said with a suspicious tone.
“I greeted the bears outside,” Tova tilted her head up.
“How did you get PAST them.” The bear hunched down towards her.
Tova curtseyed again and proceeded with the bear dance. The bear frowned and opened his mouth showing the pearly white but awfully sharp teeth. He flared his teeth at her.
“THAT is a sacred ritual!” the bear yelled. “It can only be done by US!”
“That’s not what the bears outside told me.” Tova explained. “They WELCOMED meeee,” Tova pointed at herself.
The bear stood up, lifted his arms, and stretched out his claws that were as long as his paws. His shadow consumed Tova. A weak growl emerged from his mouth.
Tova giggled. The bear tried again but nothing came out this time.
“What is your name?” Tova asked. There was a glimmer of amusement in her eyes.
The bear exhaled and relaxed his position. He padded on a seat next to him. “Sit.”