Story of a man who scared away a bear

When I was in Grade 5 and 6, I had a teacher who loved telling stories to us. Every morning, before we started our classes, he would tell us some interesting story that he had read in the newspaper or seen on TV.

One day, we got news that a bear was seen in our neighbourhood and the whole school was advised to stay alert. Our neighbourhood was residential, and we normally didn’t encounter bears. Usually, when bears appeared in such a residential area, it meant that there was shortage of food for them and hence they were likely in a hungry state. So, we were told to be extra careful.

That morning, we started to talk about what to do upon encountering a bear when our teacher shared this most remarkable story.

“Have you heard the story of an old man who recently encountered a bear while picking wild mushrooms in a mountain?” He started while all of us leaned forward with wide eyes full of curiosity.

“He was in the mountain alone, picking mushrooms, when he came face to face with a bear. When he noticed, he and the bear were so close to each other that it was too risky for the man to turn back and run away. That would have triggered the bear to attack him.

“So, instead of turning back, he jumped onto the bear’s stomach and held on tight.”

“What?!” The whole class laughed – the picture of an old man hugging a bear was funny even though we were also amazed by his brevity.

“The bear tried to get rid of the man, but the bear’s hands couldn’t reach him since he was right on the bear’s stomach. The bear shook its body hard to throw off the man, but the man held onto the bear even tighter.”

We all roared with laughter.

“After some time, the old man realized that he couldn’t stay like that forever. He had to make some move in order to be free from the bear.

“Now, this man was a skilled judo player. So, he decided to sweep the bear’s foot! It was successful – the bear fell on the ground with the man on his stomach. But what the man hadn’t realize was that they were standing on a slope. The moment they fell on the ground, they together rolled down the slope fast until they hit a tree.

“The man lost his consciousness for a second. When he opened his eyes, he saw the bear running away from him in great hurry.”

That was the end of the story. The man came out of the mountain with only a few bruises from the collision with the tree.

It was such a remarkable story. As I laughed with everyone else, I made a mental note to myself that martial arts could be useful when dealing with an unexpected encounter with a bear.