Once upon a time
there was a beautiful brown bear.
She was very powerful and she loved to laugh.
she would stand very straight and proud and tall;
she would feel anger
and she would snarl her teeth and bare her claws;
she would feel warm and loving
and she would snuggle with her friends;
Sometimes she would feel afraid.
Actually, she was afraid a lot of the time
and because
she was a powerful brown bear
she thought she shouldn’t ever feel afraid:
This was very confusing,
and she felt ashamed.

The shame and fear grew within her. Soon
she was afraid to be a beautiful brown bear anymore. So,
she decided to be a sheep.
She started to dress like a sheep;
She learned to walk like a sheep;
And talk like a sheep;
And eat like a sheep;
And sleep like a sheep.
She was an excellent sheep.
Soon she forgot that she was a beautiful brown bear
and she became lost in the woods.
Once upon the same time
in the same woods
there was a handsome gray wolf.
He was very hungry.
He spotted our friend the sheep and he thought, “Food!
And if I play my cards right,
food for a very long time.”
So the wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing
and he made friends with the lost sheep.
Now by this time
she was feeling really afraid
so she was happy when the wolf came along
and said he would take care of her.
There was just this one little thing
the wolf wanted in return.
He only wanted to take
a small bite
out of her
every day. She agreed.
So the sheep ate the grass,
and the wolf ate the sheep,
and they got used to it.
And every day, day after day,
she lost a little more
of her self.
Eventually of course
she noticed that she really hurt.
So she talked to the wolf
and asked him if it could stop. He said, “Stop?!
Are you crazy?”
Well of course she was.
Finally, there was very little left of the sheep.
All that was left of her was her heart.
And as the wolf bit into her heart
he released
the beautiful brown bear.
The beautiful brown bear rose up;
Standing very straight and proud and tall.
She took a deep breath,
and from the tips of her fingers
to the tips of her toes,
in a very strong voice she said “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Well, the wolf was so surprised
that he ran away.
And the bear was so surprised
that she began to laugh.
And she laughed and she laughed
and she laughed so loudly
that all her friends heard her laughing
and they looked at one another and said,
“Ah, bear has remembered her Self!”

The end
(and the beginning).
Katherine Tilton