Theo the bear sets out on an adventure.
“Theodore, where are you going?”, Bernadette asked curiously.
“To be honest, I’m not really sure. I just know that I need to be somewhere else right now”, Theodore solemnly responded.
Theodore wasn’t hiding anything – he didn’t know where he wanted to be, or where his furry legs would take him. He just knew that he needed to move, there and then. At that second. In that moment, he wanted to be somewhere else.
Bernadette was slightly shook, but she trusted that Theo would be safe. It wouldn’t have been the first time that he’s done this, she grew used to his odd, yet charming behaviour. It was the same Theo that would wander off towards a colourful light in the distance, hoping to find its source. It was the same Theo that would be lost from all conversation at the sight of a beautiful bird. He would stare at the bird for the entirety of its stay upon that branch, or pebble, or upon the ground, because the robin’s red stomach mesmerized him in an inexplicable way. He would even stop mid-hunt to watch such the great sight of an eagle – this didn’t make him very popular around the other creatures, and frankly, it made him miss quite a few of the fish swimming through the river.
Theodore began to walk away on all fours, beginning yet another journey into the unknown. The unknown, to Theo, was an adventure and a chance for exploration beyond the normality of his life. Adventure was exactly what he lived for, and when he had nothing to explore, his mind quickly grew tired and dull.
As he walked away, he felt his claws penetrate the cold soil beneath him. Theo looked up and around at the very green leaves among the trees as the sound of the river splashing against rocks filled his ear from every direction. It felt as if nature was trying to speak to him, as if it was pushing its beauty onto him, ordering him to stop in his tracks, and appreciate it.
Theo knew that if he walked towards the river, he’d be going the same route he walked everyday to hunt. So he decided to go right instead. He approached the branch of an old, large tree at the corner of his turn and proceeded to push his claws into it, leaving a circle so that he would know when he’s close to home on his way back.
The sun seemed brighter that day than it usually did. Its light shone through the trees’ leaves and gaps, making the ground under it a beautiful bright amber, like light that shone through diamond and exasperated a rainbow. As Theo walked through the forest, he felt the sun on his fur, he felt the heat warm move through his body. It suddenly felt like the sun was hugging him, like he was not alone anymore.
He walked further and further, still hearing the river flowing in the distance. He walked until he saw a deer just down his path. The deer’s name was Ayal; Theo recalled the first time he had met Ayal. His mind was suddenly filled with images of the three men that caged him to take him somewhere, somewhere he did not want to know.
The night was a cold and dark one, even the moon was not out. He had been at the river bank hunting for fish when he heard an unusual, quick rustling of leaves around him. The sound grew closer and closer as he continued to observed the fish, waiting to spring his enormous paw into the river. Theo remembered locking eyes onto a rather wide, silvery and scaly fish with pretty pink fins and a rusted brown streak going across its upper body. The bear grew suspicious as the rustling became increasingly louder at every breath.
He stopped to look around him until suddenly, a bright white light flashed his eyes and he could not see anything but. His arms flailed as he reacted to the light, he felt a horrible shooting pain in his left thigh, right above his knee. He fell to the ground and wailed in agony as he saw rope-like lines cover most of his vision and limit his movement. It must be humans, Theo thought. He had only heard stories of the vicious creatures up till now. What had scared Theo the most about humans wasn’t being captured by them, but the reason they captured animals. They didn’t kill them for food, nor survival; they killed them for joy, they killed them to use their dead bodies.
Theo roared in rage as he struggled to move his captured body; he got up onto his two back legs and finally saw his captors as they rushed in front of him to stop him from moving further.
The captors seemed so small in Theo’s eyes, he noticed as two stood on each side of him, and one stood in front of him. They each held a net over his head while trying to drag him down. His furry and sharp claws flew around as he attempted to defend himself against the evil men. Their faces were serious; they focused completely on Theo and locked on to his eyes. He felt their expression exclaim “Stand down, creature”. But Theo would never stand down. He thought only of Bernadette, how long she would wait for him. How heartbroken she would be to think that he had abandoned her.
Theo roared again, hoping he would alert any other of his friends nearby to help him. His throat ached as the sound left his mouth. Surely someone had to hear that, he thought.
Suddenly, a small dark shadow appeared beyond the trees ahead of him. It was the deer he knew today as Ayal.