Now, I think I speak for everyone when I say that bears are just so terribly inconvenient. Maybe that isn’t the word most people would use, but it is probably the most accurate in the case of the bear fight in Shakespeare’s A Winter Tale. Right before the bear enters, this fated character is dropping off a baby to die because his master, the king, thinks his wife, the mother of this child, is cheating on him with a rival king, who he is also close friends with. This poor guy had just finished a several-day quest to get to drop off this baby. He had to become, in some ways, the only parent this kid was ever going to have, and he definitely didn’t sign up for this shit. Finally, he had finished this whole ordeal, moments before. No more whiny kid to deal with. Thank god. Then, a bear comes out of nowhere and tries to fight him. He was probably just trying to go into town and get a stiff drink and maybe find someone to hook up with. He wasn’t even going to have to pay for anything because his boss was footing the bill. He was probably getting a few days of all-expenses-paid vacation because it was bound to be a few days before the next ship was going to leave heading in the right direction. Paid vacation time, let alone an all-expenses-paid vacation, is a luxury one can only dream of. He apparently found it worth killing a child, which is a little too relatable as a modern American cursed to jobs under a living wage with no opportunity for paid time off. Government-mandated paid vacation time, the supreme luxury of the 190-odd other countries, and they don’t even appreciate it. This guy was for sure ready to appreciate it, but then, a bear had to come in and ruin his day. He deserved a break. You heard it here first folks. This author supports a cute little break for those aiding and abetting the murder of babies. I’m just saying if I happened to be in this situation, I sure would like someone to be pushing for me to have a little break.
It’s called empathy babes.
Now, this is not the only part of this moment I deeply relate to. The baby that the guy just dropped off is just there watching the whole thing go down. I believe that my life has been a pretty rough one, but at least I was not born to my mother, the fucking queen, when she was imprisoned, immediately causing her trial for adultery, which is disproven by an oracle, but nothing is done about that, that would be too boring. Then, the stress of the whole situation kills my brother, whose death, in turn, kills my mother. Then, I am taken across the sea to be dropped off in a rival kingdom to die. Then, the stupid guy who brought me here is in a fight with a bear. That is a pretty rough first month or so of life. Sometimes it feels like that though, doesn’t it? You are just like laying on the ground, probably crying, completely useless while everything in your sight is just catching itself on fire. You just want to scream, “I’m the motherfucking princess.”, but you haven’t developed the capacity for language yet, and even if you did, someone would tell you that your outburst wasn’t very ladylike.
Sometimes, I even feel like the bear, causing chaos with my everyday life. The bear is not really trying to do anything in particular. To them, it is just another day as a bear. It happens upon a stupid man, and it really would just be so easy. It wasn’t like the bear was trying to pick a fight. It was just so terribly convenient, so why not? Its existence seemed to cause problems, and everyone perceived its presence as picking fights. As a self-proclaimed bitch, this feels a little too relatable. I am not trying to cause an issue anywhere near as much as people assume I am trying to do so. I am just trying to exist sometimes and people want to perceive this as a problem. Occasionally, I do want to cause chaos, and maybe that is the sort of day this bear was having, but I am not buying this theory. I too have the impulse to make someone’s day considerably worse with a mean little remark, an “accidental” slipped secret, a discreet little kick in the shins. It’s only natural, and what is more natural than a bear?
Nothing? Good answer. I suppose there could be some variance between bear chaos and human chaos. Bear chaos probably has a bit more shitting on people’s belongings and pranks with dead animals. I mean I think that would be a spectacular time as a person, but that just takes a little more planning for a human, a little plotting, which as fun as it is I don’t have time for in my everyday life. I think there is an argument to be made that this little bear attack was just a fun gag, but consider, you are a bear walking in the woods, commuting to the river for a bath or something, freshly awake, and a dumb man gets in your way. You haven’t had to see anyone for days. You are cranky and hungry, had a bad day fishing yesterday. You might be dreaming about the fish you hope to find during your bath because who doesn’t love a little snack in the bath? This guy sees you and screams bloody murder, and fuck that was really loud and annoying. He starts running with occasional yelled pleads for his life, and he is heading directly towards the river. This man is an inconvenience but not enough of one for you to drop your bath snack plans, so you keep walking to the river minding your own goddamn business. He throws his hat at you. It was maybe a little violent, but it was really such a sweet gift. You pick it up with your teeth, invoking more screams, and do a cool trick you have been practicing so it lands on your head because it was such a nice gift that he deserves a little show. He starts running and screaming, and you really need him to shut the fuck up. You try to return his hat, maybe that is the cause of this distress. Maybe it was a gift from his dead uncle, and he regretted giving it to you immediately. He just has a really obnoxious way of lamenting or something. You speed up to catch up with him to return it. He is still screaming, which is just perfect, and totally doesn’t incite murderous thoughts. He then has the audacity to throw a shoe at you. You were already cranky, and this was already incredibly annoying. And, he just threw a fucking shoe at you, which considerably slowed him down, so now, he is half-hobble-half-running through the woods, and you can overtake him easily.
Bear fight ensues, and you get a pre-bath-snack snack.
If you are like me, most days there is a bear fight and a baby. Some days, a fight just happens upon you unprompted. Others, it is another thing to add to the list of things not going your way. The rest of the days, you are just trying to exist and everyone is trying to blame the crazy things going on in their lives on you because you may have intentionally caused chaos once or twice. Life is messy, and literature has always reflected that because the author is just as awed as the audience. What seems like a silly way to move the plot forward might be a flawless expression of your life experience, and I think that everyone could be a little better if they spend more time exploring the zany.