A common Russian joke told to guests from other countries is that they can meet in Russia bears as well in big towns but with a balalaika around the shoulder and a bottle of vodka in the paw.

All is just fine for my teddy deep in the forest

This human perspective of the bear and nature has in fact nothing to do with the real bear who likes for instance to snack honey or all kinds of berries. In any case the bear still acts all around us as a virulent archetype in our today’s life and language, so in Germany – when telling a complete false story – this is described by the idiomatic phrase  “jemandem einen Bären aufbinden” meaning literally to fix a bear on somebody’s back.

‘Meister Petz und Reineke Fuchs’, 1752, by Allart van Everdingen
(Illustration in Johann Christoph Gottscheds’  animal epos ‘Reineke der Fuchs’)

During the Bronze Age people in Europe adored the bear for his power and strength, but besides believed in him also as a great healer because it was said that during the time of the annual winter dormancy the bears would simply disappear to the other unseen world of myths, spirits, gods and dreams. However, the common picture of the bear is a bit ambivalent because he was also regarded as a threat for farmed animals although being in reality a vegetarian most of the year. In the last 200 years the common view on the bear has changed a lot, because he hence became an important player in fables and epic works where he would represent either just a clumsy fellow or also quite often the real personalization of a friendly, good-natured, naive companion.

19th century illustration by Gustave Doré

In Northern America the tale of “The woman who married a bear” is widely well known and most probably existing in multiple versions with the diverse tribes and first nations. And in this context and culture bears are more treated like brothers and sisters shared in a common nature. In order to preserve this old but jeopardized relationship they have found GOAL, the tribal coalition to protect the grizzly and their ancestors’ legacy. GOAL is representing 39 tribal nations in total, and you will find more detailed information under the following link:



Published by

suburban tracks

Please be so kind to respect that all texts, graphics or photos in this blog are protected by copyright. Unless otherwise mentioned by naming the individuali author, creator, designer or photographer all copyrights hold by suburban tracks. This is moreover an AWARD FREE BLOG! Thank you in advance for appreciation and kind understanding. COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED IN GERMAN, FRENCH OR ENGLISH!


      1. At least we now have around 75 wolf packs living in Germany again (due to the open borders since the early 1990s) and the number still growing. A lot of people would like to kill them (some do it) but they are strictly protected. For shepherds however a real challenge and not easy of course.


      2. This compensation for damages by wolves paid everywhere in the EU, but in case a fox “massacres” a dozen of your chickens, this will not be applicable anyways. Bad luck for chicken owners!


  1. In Australia, they have rumors of drop bears. Koalas that just drop on the heads of tourists and cause some proper damage. While Koalas aren’t really bears, the tourists really have a bear on their backs here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting, especially because you name him Master Bruin (the last word is the Dutch word for brown) – are you familiar with the Dutch language?
    Knew the artist Dore only from his Biblical illustrations, I had a children’s bible with his art.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot for your interesting remark. However, Master Bruin is really English and the old poetical name used in fables and tales. I am German (not familiar with Dutch) but it is interesting to discover the simiiarities of languages. The name of the color brown quite alike also in German (braun), French (brun) and Italian (bruno). Wishing you a nice day! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.