The Giant Black Bear

Somewhere deep in an enchanted forest between this world and the ethereal, there lives an enormous black bear that no man can tame! This bear is as large as an elephant and is filled with rage, power, hatred, and untamed passion! The kings and rulers of that realm, in their lust for power and control, sought to bring this magnificent animal under their dominion. They thought if they could capture the animal they could use the bear’s power and rage to wreck devastation and destruction upon their rivals or to use the bear’s strength to do their own bidding. However the bear’s will was stronger! He would not be taken in so easily. At first, the kings and rulers sent their strongest warriors and champions one-by-one to challenge the black beast, and one-by-one the greatest champions of the realm were never seen or heard from again. Then the rulers sent out hunting parties and warriors with spears, nets, and cages. As the hunters attacked the bear, the animal would rear up on its hind legs and come crashing down on two to three warriors at a time crushing bones and snapping spears like twigs. With a backhand swing of a massive paw, the black bear would send other soldiers flying through the air only to crash into trees and crumple to the ground in lifeless heaps. Nets were ripped asunder like dried pieces of parchment. When attacked, the animal seemed to grow in size and might! He became a black whirlwind of raging fur, claws, fangs, and froth. His roar alone would deafen the faint hearted and cause them to turn to flight. It was as if the black beast reveled in any and all conflict! His roar challenged the listening skies for more to oppose him if they dared! But for all his anger, rage, and frustration the black bear was still a prisoner. There was a giant bear-trap clamped securely on the animal’s left leg, and a large chain attached the steel-toothed bear-trap to a massive stake in the ground. If by some form of enchantment or another, the stake and chain were immovable and indestructible. As the bear struck at the chain and stake or tried gnawing at it, the animal soon discovered that its power, strength, and rage were all for naught. He was trapped…a prisoner, unable to escape. One day, one of the Ancient Ones walked through the forest. He was magnificent; he appeared to be as one of the druids of old. However, as he passed through the forest, the woodland creatures paused in silent admiration and respect of this Ancient One. Trees seemed to sway and dance as he walked and dried autumn leaves parted for his passing feet. His eyes were bright as the noonday sun; his skin was a golden color and appeared to have the texture of that of a thousand-year-old great oak. His robe was an earthen color and he had a gnarled staff in his hand. A ring of holly adorned a sea of dark locks upon his head. This Ancient One stood as tall as the trees of the forest. The giant black bear seemed to diminish in size before this ancient being. At one spoken word of power and might, the bear-trap and chain fell away; then the black bear sat back on its haunches to listen attentively to its rescuer. As the Ancient One spoke, his voice was soothing as a babbling forest brook with a tint of a deeper power and strength…like that of rolling thunder in the distance. These were the words he spoke. “Unlike those who have come before me, I do not seek to control you. I only wish to unleash you. War is coming. Will you fight for my army?”