The Story of The BearMaiden

A Bear Maiden went out into the fields one day to eat the wild blueberries. A wolf came upon her and they struck up a conversation. It seemed as though they had much in common, and so agreed to meet up the following day. They discovered they had even more in common than they thought, and so began to spend more and more time together.

The Bear Maiden liked to be alone sometimes, and being a solitary soul would sometimes wander off to play in the river by herself, or sniff flowers along the banks. But the Wolf, being rather proprietary, didn’t like that the Bear Maiden would go off without him, and so he would track her down. This infuriated the Bear Maiden and she would turn and snarl. In turn, the Wolf, who did not like to be challenged, would bristle, and so the two would end up fighting rather fiercely.

They were evenly matched, so neither could win, and so each would retreat; the Wolf into the deep woods and the Bear Maiden into her den. A few days would pass, and then they would end up in the fields together as if nothing had happened.

However, unbeknownst to the Bear-Maiden, the Wolf had been drawing a Magic Circle around her, hemming her in. Whenever the Bear Maiden tried to step outside the Circle, the Wolf would know and come running back from where ever he was to chase her back into the Circle.

This infuriated the Bear Maiden even more, but she didn’t have Magic strong enough to break the Wolf’s Circle.

The days were beginning to shorten and the weather was growing colder, and the Bear Maiden knew that winter was coming. She was also great with child.

She was tired and unable to fight, so she went into her den and slept until the days grew long and the weather warm.

When she emerged in the spring, she had a tawny wolf cub by her side. The Big Wolf watched her from the wood shadows, drawing the Magic Circle around her tighter and tighter still. The Little Wolf would run up to play with the Big Wolf outside the Circle, and the Bear Maiden began to give up hope that she would ever be free again to wander amongst the flowers by the river bank.

One day as she went to gather strawberries, she stumbled over a rock. Upon closer inspection, she discovered it wasn’t a rock, but a Tortoise.

Bear Maiden was lonely, trapped in her circle with only her Cub, and she was delighted to have other company. The Tortoise was old and wise and told her many tales of all the places he’d been and the things he’d seen. They talked and talked for many hours, and she told him how she was trapped inside the Magic Circle.

The Tortoise offered to help. He told her that the Wolf’s Magic would be at its weakest point during the on the day of a full-moon, when the sun was at it’s highest. He told the Bear Maiden that she should gather up her cub, and meet him on the banks of the river.

“My children and I will be traveling downstream to the sea, and you can come with us”.

The Bear Maiden thought the plan was a good one, so she agreed to meet the Tortoise on the day of the next Full Moon.

On that day, she awoke early and gathered up her cub. When the sun was at it’s highest point, she and her Cub ran as fast as they could down to the banks of the river to where the Tortoise said he’d meet her. But the Bear Maiden couldn’t pick him or his children out from among the rocks, and so she feared that they left without her.

She sat down on the bank of the river and began to cry. The sound of her crying woke the sleeping Wolf, and realizing she had broken free began to take off after her. The Bear Maiden cried so hard that the river began to swell, and swept the Tortoise and his children out to sea where they stayed until this very day.

The Wolf chased the Bear Maiden back into the Circle with her Cub, and there they all stayed for some time; the Wolf in the shadows, yellow-eyes watching, the Bear Maiden and her Cub in the field picking berries….

In time, the Bear Maiden and the Wolf made peace with each other. And in so doing, the Bear Maiden’s magic grew and so the circle around her widened. Occasionally, she let the Wolf come in, and he in turn would let her out. Sometimes she wondered what really happened to the Turtle, but discovered it didn’t matter.

What happened when the BearWolf Cub grew into his own magic, though, is a whole other story….

Note: This is a personal narrative that explains how I came to call myself what I am. At the time this was written I was at the very beginning of sorting out a very difficult and painful relationship, my feelings on motherhood, my career, my life, and my heritage. While I feel entitled to use the imagery I chose in the story, in no way should this story be construed as anything more than that. And P.S. sometimes, the ending changes.

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