Once there was a beautiful moose who married a bear. Everyone told her it was wrong. Everyone said, you are wasting your talents on such a dumb bear. Moose are fine animals and bears are stupid. Bears are the dumbest animals in the world, they said. And stubborn, they said.

Her mother sat her down the day before the wedding and tried to reason with her, citing all the many problems she would face. Bears can't ever see right from wrong, she said. Bears can hardly read and write. Bears can't be educated, most of them are on drugs and many of them are in jail. Bears rape moose. Bears only eat out of the trash. It is only a matter of time before this bear you love so much is also in jail or on drugs or raping moose.

But worse, she said, most bears believe that moose are an angry race of animal, and that any action, no matter how small, like throwing away a bear's beloved baseball card collection, would be a subliminal message something like this: My bear is a complete ass and I am angry at my bear and want to get back at him. When all the moose intended to do was simply clean out a closet. That, she said, is how stupid bears can be.

But the beautiful daughter moose simply responded, "you should be more concerned with the duplicity of your political leaders and the psychological shortcomings of your neighbors, relatives and co-workers. If I’m ever angry at anything, mother, it's existence itself, not any one bear. And my bear knows that. He knows me."

Mother moose responded by saying, "but the bear would say, 'you have free will as a moose. You threw away my card collection even though you knew how much it hurt me. Therefore you must hate me'."

Beautiful daughter moose responded by saying: "I don't even know what 'free will' is, mother. I blame everything and nothing specific for my ignorance. And tomorrow I will marry my bear in the big Catholic church by the lake."

The mother moose cried but came to the wedding as she did not want to alienate her beautiful daughter.

It was a lovely day for a wedding. The sun shone on the dewy grass. The bear scratched his paws on the bark of a tree and roared at the forest. He was happy. He would have his beautiful moose.

But of course, as nothing is detached or separate from the first event that created the universe, a beautiful daughter moose will eventually remember the words of her mother at the first sign of trouble between herself and the bear she married on that sunny day in the big Catholic church.

Fighting and arguments and racist comments soon ensued from both sides.

The beautiful moose daughter called her bear an asshole and then asshole's mom, then asshole's mom's mom, and it kept going until the bear, tired of being called an ass, became reattached to the first event, which was the mother moose calling the bear stupid and dumb and uneducated, and killed the mother of the beautiful moose in order to stop himself from thinking.

At the sentencing stage of the bear’s trial, the beautiful moose took the stand and said this action of killing her mother proved how dumb the bear was because he should have killed himself instead of her mother in order to stop himself from thinking and that the death of her mother was done for no other reason than to make the beautiful moose sad.

The courts agreed and sentenced the bear to death.

The beautiful moose divorced the bear and went on to write several books of philosophy. She was invited to speak on several well-known talk shows. She picked Oprah. When asked about the message of her tumultuous marriage she replied, "I think the message is, 'you don't know what to do; no one knows what to do; bears and moose are fucked up beyond repair but bears especially are a confused, fucked race of animal that do not have much guidance from father figures because all of the daddy bears are in jail."

The audience applauded. Oprah gave them all a golf cart. Confetti and balloons dropped from the ceiling.

The bear watched Oprah from his cell. He was sad and felt nothing for the world. He stopped communicating with the other bears in his prison. He alienated everyone he came into contact with so as to decrease the number of people with whom he would have to communicate. Soon he wasn't able to communicate with mutual comprehension, and could not tell which bears he could or could not communicate with because every bear he met was so abstract, but not polite, which is something he never should have expected in prison to begin with, something he took responsibility for in his nightly meditations.

At the after-show, later broadcast on a cable station the bear was not allowed to watch in prison, the beautiful moose went on to talk about how life was sad and stupid and painful. The beautiful moose said there was hope, and that there were many things that might reduce the pain and suffering of the world. But everyone was too excited about the golf carts to listen. The beautiful moose stood up to leave and a balloon popped under the weight of her foot.

In response to his ex-wife the bear wrote a manifesto about the anger of the bear, how the anger of the bear was legitimized by years of oppression under the moose. How the government secretly plotted against the bear and promoted many unqualified moose into upper management positions they were not qualified to hold.

He granted an interview to Dateline and told Stone Phillips it was his hope that the manifesto and subsequent execution would anger other bears into action and encourage moose to be more aware of what they say and do to bears as a result. He said it was his hope that in time, fewer lies would be told by the moose, more correct and responsible information about bears would be available for moose to read, that there will be less secrecy between bears and moose, and that moose would be more tolerant and nicer overall.

To which Stone Phillips replied, "but won't moose be nicer only because they are afraid of bears?"

"Isn't this just like people in the South being nice because everyone carries a gun rack filled with rifles and shotguns in their trucks," asked Stone.

To which the bear replied, "yeah, maybe. But that's okay too."

Commentators talked about the manifesto on CNN and FOX and MSNBC. Someone punched someone in the face. Many bear actions were linked to bear identities. Ideas became fixed. The bear was executed. The moose wept when her doctor told her she was barren and too old to have a child. A war started. Moose actions of charity toward the bear were refused by the younger generation as misdirected handouts meant to keep the bear isolated and dependent on the moose. Bear philosophies were obscured. Soldiers fought soldiers. Generals and presidents talked without making anything happen which came off to the bear population as an elaborate justification for taunting and work-place killing rampages.

The moose population responded with satirical editorials and dramas and poems in which they vowed to always defend the logical underpinnings of bear philosophy. Trans fat was outlawed in fifteen states, including Alabama. A well-known moose politician was arrested for violating the anti-sodomy law in Georgia. A group of artsy bears at an obscure literary journal supported from funds donated from the Women's Group would eventually report the mass squandering of resources by the Chair of the English department (a moose) at a major private university in the Northeast. And the writings of a little-known bear poet were burned at a Methodist University in Texas, but no one cared because the titles of his books were quite long and convoluted.

< 5 >