Day 24: Baldwin the Bear Part 2
Even Baldwin’s own Papa thought the cub too soft for proper bear living. He couldn’t hunt, after all, or wouldn’t more like. Clubbing fish came easily enough but he always felt terribly guilty afterwards. These habits resigned Baldwin to a diet of primarily nuts and berries, with the occasional dessert of ants and worms under a newly rotted patch of stump, much to the chagrin of Papa and the other decent boars of the pack.
Mama tried to sympathize, defending Baldwin when his father would deal harshly with him, but she was just as at a loss over how to care for her overly sensitive child. From the top of the hill Mama would watch the cubs play near the forest’s edge, and would fight back tears at the sight of Baldwin, yards away from the others, swatting at unseen insects or fairies or whatever imaginary beasties had so captured his attention.
“He’s wrong Mama, he’s different,” grumbled Papa.
“He’ll grow out of it Papa, don’t you think?”
“I don’t know Mama. I’ve tried it all. I’ve taken him hunting, fishing, sat him down to talk. He’s just… never there with me. His mind is somewhere else. I can’t find him Mama.” This time it was Papa’s turn to cry, though he held it back best he could, contorting his face to maintain its stern visage. Papa had to stay strong, for his family, just like his own papa taught him.
“Do what you think is best Papa. I trust you.” Mama pressed her neck against his, purring, both to comfort and to be comforted.