Some days you go bear hunting and you get eaten. Some days you come home with a nice rug to roll around on, and bear steaks. What they don’t tell you as a kid is that sometimes you get the rug and steaks, but you also get some nice scars to go with them. As a child you don’t understand that you can win, but that’s it’s not always worth the price. Once you understand and accept that possibility you become a real grown up, and the world becomes a much more serious place. –Laurell K. Hamilton
This is the polar bear called Art (after Arthur, not that other business) and I am very fond of him indeed. He is at least Edwardian, perhaps even older than that. Not so much in the original making of him, but in his evident disposition.
I have had him (or him me) for a long time. We have seen thick and thin together. Officially I have been the sufferer (or otherwise) of these events and he the observer, but I sense that he senses our fates are closely tied. However, when I do well he talks of we, but if they go poorly he tends to leave me to it. I don’t blame him for this.
He looks down on me. That is, he perches (a strange posture for a bear, but it is so) high above my left shoulder on the top of a cupboard. Three feet up and about one foot behind. He is reassuring, can see both my monitors clearly, says nothing.
We are not as much a team, but more somehow related. Beneath his paw and out of normal sight is a piece of paper upon which I wrote (many years ago and lost):
Madness is relative
And I have a very close family.
Only he and I know the paper is there and what is written upon it.
I have given serious thought as to what his fate will be when I am no longer alive. I am thinking of bequesting him, but worry this will only add to my own eccentric reputation and thus cause him not to be taken seriously. As a result, I have been collecting many other items that I intend to gift in my will. It is in this way that I hope to hide Art in plain sight.