Parable of a bear

Lake Delton, Wis. Photo: Gerald Farinas.

A poem by Gerald Farinas


Ventured the little bear lost in the forest

He came upon a clearing where

With sun, seedlings effloresced


Alone was he, afraid of the vastness wild

Found himself, away from the forest dark he reviled


Here he finds a rest from scare

The howls, the fouls, the animal growls

All that this small cub could no longer bear


Catching his breath he looked upon the ground

He sniffed, he pawed, at an acorn he found


He placed the acorn near his foot and stared

His distress, his unease, from all that, he was spared


“I mustn’t lose it, this acorn is mine,

As long as it is with me always, I’ll be fine.”


He carried the acorn with him wherever he went

With it, all that scared him, was now nonevent


But then one bad day, it slipped and seemed lost

Looking for it distraught, the grass and dirt he crossed


The little bear would not leave that clearing

That acorn was the only safeness from all his fearing


As the months passed, there he remained

Until he noticed with sunlight gleam

A little new sapling reaching up unrestrained


The little bear perked up knowing

With all the time passed the acorn was growing


It grew and it grew, not just up but across

It grew so fast that the bear was at a loss


In years the sapling was no longer a sapling

But rather a mighty tree, from it was mighty branching


Year by year it reached up towards higher height

Towering, the clearing below no longer lit bright


The lonely brown animal was inspired to dare

He would muster the kind of courage befitting a bear


So he climbed the redwood that continued to grow

Up there he reached the crowning height, his fears let go


The bear saw but sun and the top of the forest

With the clouds and birds, his heart sang in joyful chorus


The acorn may have given the bear false security and calm

But in climbing the tree, he discovered inside him his own angst’s balm


And he sat at the top with great pride and newfound esprit

Things he would have never found if it weren’t for this Samuel tree