Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gone Snuffling

There really is nothing to match an early morning visit to the woods.

I like to trot down to my local woods early on a Sunday morning and indulge in three of my favourite hobbies: talking to my woodland friends, having a go on the rides in the playground, and snuffling.

Now, if you are a bear, you will not need me to tell you what snuffling is, but I do have some human fans and it is possible that they may need the term explained.

Snuffling is the name we give to the fascinating business of pootling about in undergrowth, around old logs and up trees. There is always something new to divert one's attention. Autumn is an especially good time for snuffling, as there are invariably several big piles of leaves on the ground - ideal for snuffling in.

Here are some photographs of me snuffling, to give you the general idea.

Here I am having a good snuffle around some old logs.

And here I am snuffling in some pretty pink flowers.

Here I stopped snuffling for a moment so I could have my picture taken, but as soon as it was done I had an especially good snuffle in these leaves.

You won't be able to see me in this picture because I am hiding behind the tree on the left.

As I said, another good thing about the woods is that there are always friends around to talk to.
Here I am sharing some breakfast with my friend Samuel. Most of the other squirrels call him Sammy but I think that sort of informality can often lead to loss of respect.

This is when Samuel and I were joined by three pigeons who, reasonably enough, liked the look of our breakfast. We were happy to share, but in this picture you see me giving them a stern lecture on the subject of good manners and the importance of waiting one's turn. As you see, the two on the right are listening attentively, but the one on the left proved quite incorrigible.

My local woods are especially good because they have a playground area, where the most marvellous fun may be had free of charge.
On the swings...

... the slide ...

... and on this. Not sure what it is exactly, but it provides first-class amusement.

So that was my guide to the woods. I look forward to meeting you again soon.

Mr Orso Bear, Esq.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Paper enthusiasts salute your own Orso Bear, Esq!

Alex at Papergrain, "a little blog about stationery and beautiful things", has done a splash on yours truly.
You can see it for yourselves here.
This is both a great honour and a reminder that people who like paper are often among the first to recognise the merits of bears.

Where to find ice cream

Since becoming an internationally world-famous bear both here and abroad, I am often stopped by other bears with questions to ask.
One of the most popular goes something like this:
"Mr Orso Bear, Esq, you have made many references on your excellent site to something called 'ice cream'. This sounds like something I would like, so can you tell me how to obtain some?"
Well, it couldn't be simpler.

If you live with humans, wait until they are out of the house and make your way to the kitchen, where you should find a large white box something like this.

Using your claws for leverage, prise open the front like so. (With a bit of practice this is a quick and easy manoeuvre.)

You are looking for a squarish plastic box. Have a good rummage around because they buy all sorts of other rubbish to put on top and hide it. It'll be in there somewhere.

Success! Always remember to leave some in the box, so they don't catch on to the fact that it has been disappearing faster than they've been eating it.

Now to the question of what, if anything, to put on it.
Go through their cupboards and pull out all the pots and jars that you think look interesting. I usually try anything that's a pretty colour.

Honey and peanut butter are highly recommended.

But I found these disappointing. One of the few occasions when my pretty colour rule let me down.

Finally, make sure that you tidy everything away, clean all the cutlery and surfaces and put the ice cream back in the big white box. And then they will never know what you've been up to.
I hope this has been of assistance.
Mr Orso Bear, Esq.

Some of my colleagues and associates

I share my house with a number of other bears, and so I thought it might be of interest if I introduced some of them to you.
It's likely that I will be mentioning them again in the future, so it's probably as well that you know exactly who I am talking about.

Firstly, then, this is Polar. Polar is instantly recognisable on account of his white fur and red scarf. If you live in London, you'll know that we've been experiencing a heat wave of late. I asked Polar why he was wearing a scarf in such hot weather, and he replied that it's because he comes from a very cold country. I believe there is a flaw in his argument somewhere, but I haven't quite pinned it down yet.

This is Fred. As you can perhaps see, Fred is a good deal older than me. He's very old indeed, actually. For instance, he can remember watching Yogi Bear on its original transmission. He doesn't go out a lot and can be a bit grouchy at times, but I dare say I may be the same when I get to be his age. However, that won't be for absolutely ages.

This is Boris. Boris likes to go snuffling in the local woods where he thinks up his ideas. Some of them, like his idea to have the whole of the woods carpeted, don't really amount to much. Occasionally, however, he comes up with a very good one. His plan to make ice cream free to all bears is already at the petition stage, and we are expecting the government to reach a decision on it very soon.

And lastly, here's me, Bob, Polar, Edward, Lou, Humphrey, Lattimer, Fred and Polar's nephews and nieces watching a television broadcast of the film Bear Island, based on the bestseller by Mr Alistair Maclean. Overall, we felt it was one of those films that didn't quite live up to the expectations of its title, though there was plenty of exciting action.