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by Benjamin Weissman

Why I defend the relationship of the bear and the mouse, is easy to explain and for that reason I won't, because it belittles me and I have to avoid situations that compromise who I am. With a ham sandwich in my mouth how am I is fine thank you despite being a highly

how am I is fine thank you

skilled worrier. Where I am is my favorite place on Earth, the zoo. Next I'll ask myself to explain the baldness of my sweaty dome, my excess blubber, the sights and sounds that emanate from my cavities, and that involuntary thing I do with my eye.

To the surprise of many people the mouse and the bear get along famously, a figure of speech that rich people say amongst themselves when they're expected to claw each other's eyes out, but end up chortling like fat cats and pigs and gleeful Hyenas. When a moneybags enjoys the company of another cashwad the word you hear the ascot endowed loafer use is famously. Is it really right to refer to a mouse as vermin?

People assume that the mouse and the bear shouldn't get along, that they have nothing in common, that they don't belong at the same table, unless the mouse and a dozen twin buddies are lined up like shot glasses for the omnivorous carnivore to swallow. I am not sure what should happen between the two but as an observer my trained untrained eye has come up with the following. They're both amused by the other's short limbs and nonretractile claws. They climb trees

They're both amused
by the other's short limbs
and nonretractile claws.

together: the mouse being the speedier of the two, laps the huge branch-breaker. As stupid or overly adorable as this may sound, it is still very much true, I've seen it several times--at closing time, at dusk, when the world is still, the bear and the mouse dance, though never as a couple. The bear as everyone knows is an obscenely good dancer. Her basic move is a smoldering freestyle movement she does with her shoulders and hips. Waltzing is all that the mouse can handle due to a defect in the labyrinth of the ear; interestingly enough, this is the exact type of ballroom dance-step that the mouse performs exhaustively at the base of the bear's vagina, during sexually Intimate moments, in three/four time, with a marked accent on the first beat.

I feel like a zero fading into nothing when I'm not starring at animals--they provide me with everything I need--but even that, watching animals, being an animal appreciator is difficult because I don't think they like me, I mean of course they don't. Instinct commands them to turn away, growl, kick dirt in my face. I smell wrong and look worse. They deliberately excrete urine in my presence. The walrus blows taunting mucous bubbles. Hippos burp up bloody smelts and spit them at me. Nevertheless I'm very grateful to be in their company. I appreciate them like a gentleman would a tasteful blue movie. Hitler loved animals and animals counted on him as a biscuit-bearing ally. He named one of his puppies Blondie. Sure,

...being an animal appreciator
is difficult
because I don't think they like me.

the name makes a lot of sense, being a man who had strong feelings for all things white, and the questions continue: what does the mouse want in his stomach? Well, more than a crumb, if that's what you think, and not just fruits and vegetables like Big H. Just because he's small in stature, the mouse, and takes microscopic bites, doesn't mean he's not a huge eating machine. The mouse quivers all day long, runs and hides from everything like he's plugged into an electrical socket. This mouse, no different than any other, in

A bear's hunger is well documented.

constant danger, except when this bear is around, his big girly protector. A bear's hunger is well documented. They remove: doors from houses to get an old peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I saw a man fuck flies in a movie by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, or at least the man said he was doing that. He was talking to a fly that walked around on his finger. The fly behaved like it had been in a refrigerator too long. Drunk on sex or 40 degree temp, the fly stepped and staggered, but didn't have the strength to zoom away. The male actor, possibly the son of a Nazi, had high pitched voice. He seemed very happy and in need of medical attention. I think you could only fuck a fly with a needle, but that could be fatal. In comparison, a mouse, with its whiskers and wiggly nose and snowy soft belly is immensely appealing, a much more suitable love object.

It would be idiotic to think that the bear and the mouse are in love with each other but I am an idiot, so it makes sense that I'd think it, say it, believe it. A romantic jealous idiot. The bear and the mouse are in love, pure and simple, and a love affair is not something to get in the middle of unless it is being threatened and this one is not, though some misguided hunter might show up and shotgun the giant furry girl (not at the zoo), peel her skin off, and wear her to a

...a love affair is not something
to get in the middle of
unless it is being threatened...

Halloween party where the air is thin and cold. The bear, more paranoid than the average human being. You got that right. I'm here as an appreciator, a pathetic bystander, an envious unloved eyesore. Being a coarse hairy fellow, I desire a small smooth creature, too.

A few years ago in Wyoming a moose fell in love with a cow. He would not leave her alone and the cow didn't want him to. Be my moose was the general idea, be mine forever, handsome. But real love Is always tragic. Sure a few people were amused, but eventually the puckered up, leathery farmer told the moose to get lost and the girl cow, once a dieting swooning mess, eventually got over him, and in time was no longer interested. The heartbroken moose went for a long walk, ate twenty-five pounds of trout, stood in a lake for two days and slept it off. Yes, he got over it, the zoo insists on nice stories. Even the tragic ones are life affirming. That is why I feel good in relating the story of the final minute of the bear and the mouse, sad as it is. They were napping. The bear rolled over and

The heartbroken moose
went for a long walk,
ate twenty-five pounds of trout,
stood in a lake for two days
and slept it off.

crushed the mouse, just like that, in the happiest cage in America. When the bear realized what she'd done she cried and threw a tantrum, then she threw a rock, then the poor, lifeless, five-ounce mouse, against the brick wall. She howled deep from inside herself, Wake up small guy. Then she stomped him to nothing, Don't leave me you rotten little thing. I loved you with all my heart, more than anything else in the world. Then the bear picked up his tiny gray pancake and swallowed him whole, just like that, no chewing, mouse gone. Live in me forever. When I shit you out I will pick you up, rub you in my hair, and never bathe again. I dedicate the rest of my bearlife to my special dancing friend who brought me more happiness than I ever thought possible.

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