Momma had her paws full with Junior.

bear cubHe was curious and playful, always darting off to chase butterflies or scamper over logs or scramble up trees or poke his nose into an ant pile.

Momma knew that in a few months Junior would go his own way and she worried that he was not learning fast enough.

“Pay attention now!” she said as they set off on another daily walk.

bearsJunior loved these morning walks. Momma would get so preoccupied with finding food – “super-sizing for the long sleep-over” she called it – that he could sneak off and pretend he was a grown-up already.

bearsIs Momma looking?  No…?  Good, I’m gonna go see what’s over this way!

bear cub

Junior found some deadfall and started balancing nimbly on a log.  Rotting trees and scattered brush made great playgrounds!

bear cub

Hmnn… Momma said there should be some tasty termites in here somewhere, where can they be hiding?

I know… I’ll break this stick off – that’s where the bugs are, underneath!

bear cub

But alas, all Junior got for his grown-up effort was a splinter in his mouth.

So he sat for a moment and tried to remember more tips his Mother had taught him about finding food.

bear cub

Flowers! Yes, flowers are good to eat!

But which ones did Momma say tasted good – the yellow ones or the blue ones?

bear cub

Junior bit into a yellow flower.

bear cubUgghhh!

He vowed to eat only blue flowers next time.

bear cub

Look, a climbin’ tree! Momma taught me to quick get up high whenever there’s danger around.

bear cubThere was no danger nearby that he could see but he could pretend, couldn’t he?

bear cub in treeJunior looked in all directions actually hoping to see some big bad Papa bear.  Momma said they would kill you if they weren’t your real daddy but he knew he was safe way up this high.

bear cub in treeOh, yes – Momma said there were crunchy pine nuts up here to eat!

bear cub in treeUh, Oh!  Is that a people-type person?  What did Momma say about humans?  Are they dangerous?

bear cub in tree

That’s right!  Momma said humans were okay and that she was raising me close to the road because Papa bears and wolves don’t come down this far.

Look, there’s Momma!

bear cub in treeI’m coming, Momma, I’m coming!

bear cub

Junior was all tired out from being a grown-up.  He figured he knew more than Momma thought he did but he also knew he still had a lot to learn.  He hoped Momma had some milk for him when he got home.


black bear

It takes a worried mom,

To raise a confident son.

She’s worried now,

But she won’t be worried long.

w/ apologies to the Kingston Trio

3 thoughts on “It Takes A Worried Mom

  1. Oh John, too fabulously wonderful. The little adventuring bear. How on earth do you get all these splendid photographs, safe from bears, downwind, watching this unfold. It’s such a thrilling documentary, I feel as if I’m in the Yellowstone air, and the narrative is exactly right, so fine. Maybe I’m projecting but the last shot of worried mom, well she looked angry! and I’m thinking (being the little bear) uh oh, I don’t like that look…..
    It makes the very art of investigating all lively again, makes me think of coming upon flowers for the first time, which ones to eat, what to take home. Lovely work, thanks for the hike in the wilds before breakfast.


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