Monday, September 18, 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017

So, Like What's Up With the Church Changing Teachings?

A Day in the Life

This was as far as Bear got. It took
several valuable seconds.
Oh, dear. The Bear has not felt very motivated of late to dip his paw into the polluted waters of the Tiber and rake the muck.

He did spend several hours, however, planning a Game of Thrones type intro video for this ephemeris. Locations like "Beaver Dam," "Badger's Den," "The Big Clearing," and "The Bear's Cave" would come to 3D life by the patient use of stop-action video and construction paper locations.

So that was time well spent.

Then he had a Department of Fish, Game and Wildlife Office of Large Talking Predators mandated doctor's visit at the VA hospital. The doctor claimed to have finished and enjoyed "Judging Angels" (having purchased a copy during the Bear's last checkup after the Bear got on his knees and cried) and prescribed a sequel.

Or Seroquel. Bear isn't sure.

He promised to write a review. (Hint. Reviews make the Bear's morale soar and inspire him to tend to things like this ephemeris.)

Meanwhile, Over at the Bear's Other Blog

JUST IN: Judging Angels picks up two more 5-star reviews to bring its unbroken string to 20! The book no one expects but everybody likes.

Speaking of which, there is a new, short and funny review up at Amazon, so the Bear reposted it on his other blog as he accompanies and dialogues with the clever reviewer. For those of you who wisely ignore said other blog, the news is that the sequel stands at 85,600 words, or 2000 more words since yesterday. Also, the last-finished chapter is entitled "The Sting of the Lash and the Solace of the Bite." But, anyway, if you're interested in the sequel, there's plenty to read over there.

Did the Bear tell you about his idea for the intro video? Oh. Yeah.

So, here's what the Bear would write about if he were not distracted and beset with ennui.

The Big Question: 
Has or Has Not the Church Changed Its Teaching
on the Necessity of Being a Faithful Catholic in Order to be Saved?

Is there any real question that the Catholic Church has changed its mind on some pretty significant topics like, oh, salvation?


The Bear is not thinking about Pope Francis.

It was commonplace until living memory for popes to condemn "indifferentism" (which is now pushed as "ecumenism"). Numerous exercises of the ordinary magisterium of popes in their encyclicals rap Catholics who dare fraternize in any religious way with Protestants - let alone non-Christians - sharply across the muzzle.

And salvation for heretics, pagans, Jews and other infidels? Surely, you jest.

Now, don't get the Bear wrong. Personally, he doesn't care for that teaching at all. Between him and you, he's not quite sure how much stock to put into it. But, then, the Bear is a terrible Catholic. Nonetheless, that it was the way things were until recently.

Not just here and there. You cannot stroll through Church documents for the vast majority of her existence without tripping over this teaching.

Even into the 20th Century, popes are still acting as if they were the monarchs of a Church that remained the only means of salvation. (Various narrow exceptions were always argued, such as whether catechumens prior to baptism might be saved and "invincible ignorance," but the list was never long, and the exceptions went, as the saying goes, to prove the rule.

"No salvation outside of the Church" was not something invented by Fr. Feeney, as some people seem to believe. (In any case, there is a lot more to the Fr. Feeney story than the validity of a doctrine.) It was harped on by popes on their magisterial harps for ages, and expressed by the Church's extraordinary magisterium three times, just in case you missed the first two. (Council of Florence, Pope Eugene IV, Bull Cantate Domino; Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unam Sanctam; and Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council.)

The tantalizingly blighted 15th Century Council of Florence, which saw an agreement on the healing of the Great Schism that was ultimately rejected by the East, put it in fairly typical language.

It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.

Pope Eugene IV, Bull Cantate Domino, Council of Florence. (If the Bear is deluded in this, someone ought to let EWTN know.)

Bear means, "Yikes!"

Of course, nobody talks like that anymore. Bear thinks it would be a hate crime and certainly a trigger. But, as far as the Bear knows, while Lumen Gentium of Vatican II backpedals glibly across the centuries, the Bear does not remember it stating anywhere that, "Oh, and all that stuff about belonging to the Catholic Church being essential to salvation? We hereby formally declare it all nonsense."

The closest it comes are some confusing hints that the Church might actually be a lot bigger than previously suspected. (As the Bear always says, though, he firmly adheres to whatever infallible teachings might be contained in the turgid meanderings of the pastoral Vatican II Council compromise documents that he can be expected to make the least sense of as a degreed professional and paperback writer.)

On this one issue alone, the Bear is firmly convinced that the Church has always officially stood for the proposition that your chances of salvation were, to say the least, exceedingly dim unless you were a faithful Catholic.

Until, that is, well into the 20th century, when things... mysteriously changed sub silentio.

So, if this is true, then why is everyone up in Pope Francis' business? The Bear suspects the Woodland Creatures and Welcome Visitors might be able to shed some light on the topic.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Pope Videos: The Monthly Intention to Delude Catholics

Big Grandfather brings you a message from the Ministry of Truth.
(Could they have possibly lit the set in a creepier way?)

The Intention to Delude Catholics
Remember those cheesy Pope Videotentions of the Month?

Bear didn't. He forgot all about them and missed many articles that virtually write themselves. But then there's the latest.
First off all, the Bear observes that these so-called "intentions" are nothing of the sort. They are typical of the abuse of real religion we see in this pontificate. They are not asking us to pray to God for Him to protect or promote anything. They are propaganda in which we are told what to think.

Worse, what they tell us is always the same: there are no legitimate divisions among people. The Church is but one expression of brotherhood that includes Lutheranism, Hinduism, Islam, Masonry, Paganism, anything and nothing at all.

Music Brings Humans Together

Music is nice, especially outside where there are bugs. It is nice whether white people or black people or brown people play it, whether in Argentina, Africa, India or some other damned place. It is nice on real instruments and on crude foreign devices made of human bones and skin. It is especially nice when someone with weird bandages on his hands has dragged his piano all the way to the beach to play it, or, best of all, the recurring character of Pope Video Saxamaphone Player plays it.
HMS Conqueror
But not just music. Teenage girls writing how dreamy Kit Harrington is. Liturgical dancers practicing. Painters dancing while painting. Dancers painting while dancing.

Michelangelo? Mozart?

Dead northern white guys. Screw 'em and the island-stealing nuclear submarine they rode in on.
Gregorian chant? Even Marty Haugen and David Hass? Something, oh, Bear doesn't know... Catholic, maybe? No, you silly fundamentalist. Religion divides people.

I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke - New Coke, That Is
You selfish Western bastards!
And so the incessant Celebration of Everythingness goes on as the Church gives every human being (and possibly dolphin) a Good Sportsmanship Award in a cosmos where everyone's a winner except the poor polar bears you're stomping to death beneath your personal carbon footprint. 
I'd like to be the World's Pope and teach it what to sing, because the Church is no longer the Real Thing. New Church is like "New Evangelization" (which, when Bear runs it through his Ovaltine decoder ring, becomes "No Evangelization"). It will be the greatest success since New Coke. After all, didn't former papal press flack Fr. Rosica brag about "rebranding?"
And you didn't take him literally.
Pope John XXIII threw open the windows. Pope Francis is tearing down the walls. Yes, they define who we are, but at the cost of dividing us. That is the greatest evil, and where Christianity went wrong from the very start. In our enlightened age, we know we are all just humans being. We are the World. Imagine there's no borders, no religion, too. Etc.
Humankind's New Religion of Universal Brotherhood
You see a cheesy video produced with no imagination, repeating the same bland and non-Catholic message every month. Ah, but the Bear sees better with his nose. He smells a new gospel of universal brotherhood that transcends religion. Make no mistake. Pope Francis and his minions are very serious about this. Whether this is how a practical Church plans to remain relevant in a Godless future, or whether it has been hijacked by revolucionarios, the details are unimportant because it is directed by one ancient and malevolent will.

Bear happened to be reading John 17:16 before watching this latest New Age drivel.

"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

Being "of the world" is not a compliment when used in the Bible. As for "rebranding," the Church already had a brand. In a world where brands are the vital public image of corporations, worth fortunes and guarded with armies of lawyers, the most recognizable, venerable and powerful brand of them all - the Roman Catholic Church - needs to be changed, we are told.
It's All Really Happening
If that kind of thinking does not scare you in your soul, friend, you do not understand what they are doing. Forget the delirious succession of sound bytes and odd Francisisms, the Little Book of Insults, wacky Bishops, and all the details dear to traditionalists. While you are distracted, they are replacing the foundation and mission of the Church with the world and the message of the world.
It's happening. Right in front of our eyes, something so huge we can't even see it, any more than we can see the Holy Planet we're standing on. Something guaranteed to make anyone who sounds the warning sound like a Bible-thumping loon.
"No, that can't be happening," you object. "That's Bible stuff, not for us. We're just ordinary hobbits. The great events of history are in the past, and the end of the world is a fable, or anyway, a long way off. This is just one pope. Don't go all apocalyptic on us, steady old Bear."
Let's all hope you're right.
But the Bear has decided that the Pope Videos are really no laughing matter.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Bear and the Man with Scroll - Part II

This is a work of Bear fiction, a fairy tale of a magical Woodlands ruled over by a benevolent despot - the Bear. Any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, described herein, is purely coincidental.

The Woodlands Belong to God

"The Woodlands belong to God. The Man had been given authority to guard it and keep it, to govern it with wisdom, thoughtfulness and charity. He did not have authority to so much as pluck a dandelion except for the good of the Woodlands and its creatures. "

"He told us he owned us," said a three-legged pony, whose story is a long one and must be saved for another time. (And do not imagine the worst about your Bear!)

"The Woodlands are different from a farm," the Bear explained. "We are all free creatures, not stalled and fenced and put to the service of man. A man owns a farm. But no man owns the Woodlands."

The Woodland creatures celebrated, each in its own voice. There were chirps and roars, and squeals and growls, and those who could make no sound at all, demonstrated their joy and agreement in ways left to them. Butterflies fluttered around the fire (but not too close), and earthworms spelled out "Long Live Bear!" with their bodies on convenient flat rocks.

"We live in the Woodlands, not on a farm," the Woodland creatures cried with joy. "We love the Bear, and the old ways."

"So what happened to the man?" someone asked after the hullabaloo had died down.

"Well, nothing," the Bear said.

"Nothing?" asked Badger. "That's a stupid end to your story, Bear."

"Perhaps," Bear said, "but it is true. He moved away. He still maintains he owns the Woodlands, writes its laws, and demands every Woodland creature bend the knee to him. We must believe everything he says."

He's just a man. Why are people
so afraid of him?
"But he's still just one Man," bubbled a salmon.

The Bear swept the frightened thing out of the stream and brought it up to his muzzle, where he looked at it down his nose. "You're right. He is just one man, but don't forget. He has armies of fanatical followers to enforce his will and punish those who would hold him to what is written in the scroll.

The Bear smiled at the salmon, showing his ferocious teeth, then tossed him back into the water.

The Free Folk of the Woodlands

"The Woodlands is one of many colonies of free beasts. We are all refugees now, in a way. But here, we do not forbid good beasts to learn to read and write. Most importantly, we do not forbid them from thinking."

"Thinking is scary," said the mole, who had nearly come all the way out of his hole until the mention of the word, "thinking.' "What if someone thought the wrong thing? Animals are not good at thinking."

The Bear growled softly, and a hush fell over the Big Clearing. Even the fire seemed to shrink at the sound. "Have you never seen Beaver's dam, or the tiny nest of the hummingbird, or the nest of the cormorant? Even Badger's, er, simple den is perfect for Badger. Why, our friends the crows are smarter than dogs. We animals are very good at thinking.

"And not only that," the Bear continued, "but we have noses! If men had noses, they would smell these problems. But it wouldn't matter. You see, they're afraid. They're afraid the Man will shake his scroll at them and burn them with fire. Even if that doesn't happen (and it never has, according to research of the Bear) his fanatic supporters will descend upon what they call 'fundamentalists' and much worse.

"Bear warns his beloved Woodland Creatures. Thinking is considered sedition. And, it is true, it is hard to think properly."

"But what about thinking the wrong thing?" the mole repeated.

The Bear shrugged.

"Anyone can think the wrong thing," he said. "The Man with the Scroll's claim to fame is that he cannot think the wrong thing. And yet, his thoughts are clearly not those of the Wise Woodsmen of the past. Perhaps if he tries not to think the wrong thing, he is given help to succeed. Perhaps whatever magic keeps his words true can be resisted by the Man with the Scroll.

The Bear does not know.


"What the Bear does know is that the Man with the Scroll and his henchmen have been seen in the Woodlands recently, baiting traps."

"Traps!" the Woodland Creatures cried out in alarm. "Those are horrible! We would rather be shot than left to die in a trap."

"There is no doubt, Bear fears. They are laying traps everywhere, and camouflaging them. Even the best of beasts might be caught. And they are baited with the best of baits, too. Lies that seem like the truth."

"But what about thinking the wrong thing?" the mole asked for the third time.

The Bear fixed the mole with his small eyes, twinkling in the red firelight. "It is possible to think a wrong thing, mole, even for your Bear. The question is, is it impossible for the Man with the Scroll to think the wrong thing?"

There was silence now, broken only by the snap of the campfire.

The Bear Remains Lord of the Woodlands,
But they are Owned by God

"But if he is careful, and takes into account the wise Woodsmen of the Past, and - now that he can read - the Bible, it is less likely. Certainly, Bear's best thinking is better than poorly-hidden traps baited with the stench of lies (humans do not have very good noses, and cannot smell their own lies, as we can).

"It is true, there is a risk in thinking. There always is, no matter who does it. That is why we must learn humility.

When Man has sawed down an ancient tree, we see rings on the stump. Each of those rings - so very many of them - are one year in the life of the Woodlands. We possess, friends of Bear, a few rings, but must always remember our rings are not more important than the older rings, just because they are new, or the Man with the Scroll threatens to burn us with fire. They may be our rings, but the rings of the past were rings of the Elders, who were wiser than we, and holier.

"The Bear would rather risk making a mistake with a good heart, than stick his paw into a trap that smells bad. At least his mistakes would be his own, and offered to God. At least he would not permit the Woodland Creatures to be caught in traps, or beaten by the fanatic followers of the Man with the Scroll. The Bear does not threaten to burn you with fire, or shake mysterious scrolls at you in order to frighten you to do his will.

"The Bear is Lord of these Woodlands by the consent of the Woodland Creatures and the dread charge of the Father to be constantly on the prowl for traps, and sniff the air without tiring for the smell of torches borne by fanatics."

"So, who will be Lord of the Woodlands after Bear," asked Raccoon.

The Bear sat down, and looked grave. "The Bear has always been Lord of the Woodlands, in the sense of its guardian. The Bear tore down the Halls of Man and rebuilt the Woodland Chapels of old. The Bear searched far and wide for good  and kind Priests to instruct the Woodland Creatures, although our status is irregular for the time being.

"He will be the Lord of the Woodlands unless he turns back into the dumb brute he was, thinking only of killing ponies. The Bear will stay with you until his fangs grow loose and fall out, and his arms wither, and his claws grow dull, and his nose loses its keenness."

"I'll bring Bear food when he grows that old," said a young fox. "I will chew it up for Bear, and somehow bring honey and tender salmon. Perhaps Raccoon can help." There was a chorus of agreement following the pledge.

 The Bear looked at the fox with love, and when he cast his eyes over the Woodland Creatures, they were filled with tears. "Ah, thank you fox. Bear is certain you would make a very good nurse. But all Woodland Creatures come to the day when they are no longer about to survive in their own home. The Bear is no different. Father will provide another guardian. Perhaps days will come when the need for Bears will be done."

"Not very likely," said Badger with a snort.

"But, for now," said the Bear, "the Woodlands are a safe enough place where Woodland Creatures may gather -" he paused for effect "- and say whatever they wish. They may discuss matters theological and share the locations of traps that our Raccoon sappers have not yet dismantled. The Halls of Man may have been torn down, but the fanatical followers of the Man with the Scroll yet hammer the supposed changes onto the doors of our chapels. Every day, we must all begin by looking for traps and use our noses to find the truth, or at least expose the lies."

"But most of all, we must do the simple things all Catholics must do. Pray. Read the Bible. Use the Sacraments. Help others, and follow our Rule, whatever that is for each of us. The Rule of St. Benedict is full of wisdom."

The Woodlands are Free, not a Farm; the Good Beasts
Are Not Owned Like the Cow and Pig

"This is the Woodlands, not a farm. You are free beasts, not slaves. We all serve the Good God with love and obedience, but obedience to the Ancient Faith in our time, in which the Man with the Scroll is but a part. When he gives us a piece that will not fit into the puzzle left to us, no matter how we try, we must choose how to respond."

The Bear began to notice yawns among the younger Woodland Creatures, and the fire was a bed of hot coals (perfect or broiling salmon).

"Let us rise, then free Woodland Creatures, and cast our thoughts toward the starry sky that is so beautiful tonight. We ask protection against fire and bullets. We ask that our offspring increase. We most of all ask that we love one another and our Father in Heaven, and his Son, the Great Shepherd of us all, and the Holy Spirit, who hovers over us and enlightens us and gives each of gifts for the good of all. And we bless him with our praise.

"And let us pray for the Man with the Scroll, as well, and his followers. May be make a good servant to the Father, and become a friend of the Woodlands, and may the setting of traps and stirring of confusion, despair and discord cease."

And and all the Woodland Creatures said "Amen."

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Chick Arrives in Style via TWA

BUT WAIT! IT GETS BETTER. Red Death went out to check on the chick. She had left the peeper in a chicken wire cage. The chick was gone!

Red Death searched all over, fearing the worst, but guess what? Broody had busted the chick out of chick prison somehow and taken her over to the statue of St. Francis! She is determined her baby will survive.

Broody and Chick

Broody hid this one until it finally hatched. That took a lot of cleverness on her part to defeat the remorseless reaper of children, Red Death. The only part of Checkers visible is the dark cap. Obviously a magical chick.

She is in a premium TWA Ambassador service cup and saucer. Of course, there has not been TWA around for a long time, and airlines do not aspire to the same level of class.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Bear & the Man with the Scroll - Part I

The Bear Tells a Remarkable Tale

The Woodlands belonged
to a man?
The Bear had a belly full of salmon and a bowl full of honey to lick. The fire in the middle of the Big Clearing showed his small eyes by the red twinkle in them. It was one of those nights when the bowl of the sky seemed so black that ever fresh vistas of stars were unveiled.

The Great Bear, in particular, seemed to unusually bright. The Bear looked up to it and drew strength, thinking that God knew the names of every light, not just in the Great Bear but all of them. He was moved to awe by his God.

"The Woodlands were not always the Bear's," he began at the right moment, when anticipation was at is peak, and before boredom began to soften its edge. All the Woodland Creatures were there: Badger and Red Squirrel; Owl and Nightingale; Sheep and Wolf, and many others besides.

"They belonged to a Man," he said.

The gathered creatures breathed a collective gasp.

"You took the Woodlands from Man?" piped up mole, then popped down into his tunnel.

"Get back up here ya little earth rat," said Badger. "It's only a story."

The Man with the Magic Flame-Shooting Scroll of Bona Fides

"That's right," said the Bear. "It's only a story. And it happened a long time ago. This Man did whatever he pleased. He made fun of the Woodland Creatures he did not like, he refused to obey ancient customs, and even changed the sacred laws. It is more accurate to say, the Man claimed the Woodlands belonged to him."

"Why didn't anyone stop him?" asked the egret, who was out past her bedtime.

"He said the Woodlands belonged to him," the Bear said with a shrug. "He said he had bona fides. That is no small thing for a beast to challenge! Even a Bear."
Bear skeptical of bona fides.

"Bona fides? What are those," asked a young chipmunk."

"From the Latin, 'good faith,'" said Owl from his high perch. "In general it means tokens of authority. Reasons to hold a person in respect."

"That's right," said the Bear. "He had a long scroll, with an impressive red wax seal. Whenever the Woodland Creatures objected to something, he would shake his scroll at them and threaten to make flames shoot out of it and burn them with fire!"

"Ooooh," the younger creatures said in chorus.

"Indeed, there were fires aplenty in the woodlands, but they were the work of an arsonist, not his Magic Scroll." the Bear continued, "The Woodland Creatures could not read the writings, and were not permitted to study the scroll in any case. He became an object of worship by many Woodland Creatures. And the powers allegedly contained in his scroll were always growing."

"Did the scroll get bigger?" asked a Hen.

"No," said the Bear. "The funny thing is, the scroll never got bigger and yet all the while the Man who said he owned the Woodlands added more and more powers to himself. The more he exalted himself over them, the more his faction in the Woodlands held him in awe."

"So did you eat the Man?" asked a young wolf.

"Of course he didn't eat the Man," said Badger. "Er, you didn't eat the Man, did you, Bear?"

And the Bear left the Woodlands on a long journey.

The Bear Leaves the Woodlands

"No, Bear did not eat the Man. The Bear left the Woodlands and went far away. Perhaps the Man with the Scroll was right. He was a Man, after all. Perhaps there was no place in the Woodlands for a Bear. For many years, the Woodland Creatures waited for the Bear's return, but the supporters of the Man with the Scroll boasted that the Bear had gone forever. That he had probably died in the bear pits!

"And eventually, the Woodland Creatures forgot about the Bear."

"We did?" bleated a goat mournfully. "That was rotten of us."

The ancient oaks were
chopped down, and guns
were brought into the
"The Man with the Scroll invited other strange men into the Woodlands, until many animals had no place to live. The strangers burned down whole neighborhoods of the Woodlands, and harmed and even killed its creatures

"The Man with the Scroll lived safe in a tall fort, made of many tough old oaks he had his followers hew down. Many of your ancestors sat beneath those oaks and gathered acorns. The ax is just cold fire that works slow. He surrounded himself with many guards with guns. The Man, of course, condemned guns and all who made them or used them, but made an exception for himself.

"He ordered all the Woodland Creatures to assemble in front of his new 'Halls of Man' he built all over the Woodlands, and the day's changes in the ancient laws would be read aloud, But the Woodland Creatures were not permitted to ask questions.

"Every day, they were more confused and discouraged than the day before. The Man with the Scroll looked upon their downcast faces and said, 'Cheer up, my friends. See how happy I am? Unhappiness is a sin. Especially unhappiness about me. Unless you are joyful, I will burn you with fire from my scroll.'"

"What ever happened to the man?"

The Bear Came Back

"The Bear came back." answered the Bear in a matter-of-fact tone, as if were no big thing for a Bear to come back.

"Oh, so that's when you ate the man," said the young wolf.

"No, it is wrong to eat men," scolded the Bear. "But sometimes it is good to roar and to growl and to speak the truth no matter what. The Bear returned with something far mightier than even his powerful jaws, or his crushing arms, or his ripping claws."

"A cannon?" asked one of the Woodland Creatures.

"A regiment of Winged Hussars?" asked another.

"A squadron of fighter bombers?" asked a turtle sitting on a log in the pond.

The Bear smiled, and shook his head. He brought the honey bowl up and lapped the sweet and sticky golden gift of bees with his long tongue, keeping his muzzle neat.

"No," he said at last. "The Bear brought the one thing Man had always kept from animals."

"Clothes?" the spider asked in a thin voice, but was quickly shushed.

Bear can read - and think!
"Literacy," announced the Bear.

"Literacy? You mean like sandwich wrappers and plastic soda bottles tourists leave behind?" asked the wren in a scolding voice. She was clearly angered by the very idea. Everyone groaned, because they knew it would be a while before she calmed herself down.

"No," said the Bear, when the wren had wound down. "It means knowing how to read. The Bear recruited the ferret, who is very stealthy, to steal the Man's scroll. Well, it would be more correct to say he 'borrowed' it for the Bear. Since the Bear always intended to give it back to the Man."

"Didn't he miss it?" asked the Owl skeptically.

"No," said the Bear. "Ne never read it himself. It was just his bona fides, and something to shake at the Woodland Creatures to frighten them."

"So did Bear read it?" chirped titmouse.

"Indeed, he did," said the Bear with a satisfied look on his face. "He spent many a day and many a night working his way through the Latin. Months passed, and the Bear took his time, for it was important work. Owl helped, and others. Do you know what we learned?"

"No," the Woodland Creatures said in one voice.

"The scroll never said the Woodlands belonged to him,"

There was another collective gasp. "The Woodlands don't belong to the Man with the Scroll?" many voices asked at once. The Bear had to hold up a paw to restore order.

"No," he said, then there was another, shorter pause as he got onto his hind legs.

Part II - Coming Soon

Thursday, August 24, 2017



Sheep 1
Thom Tortise

What happened to:

Red Squirrel
Fredericka Vehteri

I have received emails from the first two. Since we have to have some sort of deadline so Bear can put this contest behind him, the ones highlighted in yellow need to send the Bear mailing addresses and autograph instructions by midnight Friday September 1st in order to complete the loop.

It doesn't matter. Since the Bear is feeling generous, he will send a copy to each of the FIVE lucky readers. All you have to do is complete the final step of emailing the Bear with your mailing address and autograph instructions to  with the subject line "I pledge my life to you, O Great Bear, and unquestioning ob -" Oh, wait. Wrong contest.

For this one, it is just "CONTEST WINNER."

(Shipping only within U.S., as stated, as it gets crazy expensive otherwise.)

This could be you! With adorably curly
red hair and hands tucked adorably into
sleeves of your sweater, reading your very
own copy of JUDGING ANGELS,
which is much, much thicker. (And, if
you're a guy, this could STILL be you.
Bear is not judgmental when it comes
to relaxing in fabulous gowns worn by
your favorite actress.)

SATURDAY UPDATE: Looks like some people are waiting until the last minute to enter the run-off (see below). If there are no further comments on the Bear's writing blog before midnight tonight (CST) the Bear will choose from remaining contestants by means of ailuromancy.

NOTE: Since Bear is going to need a means of paring excellent entries to just three, he is now going to change the rules. Due to the run-off requirement, the deadline is extended 24 hours to midnight, Saturday, August 26th (CST).

(Bear of Surprises changes the rules all the time, which makes him so dangerous to play with, but you knew that going into this game.) 

Or, call it a "run off" if you prefer. (Which is usually what people do when they meet Bear.)

In order to win, contestants must go to the Bear's other blog, which is just as entertaining and far less serious. The Bear speaks of his writing blog, which is where the Bear puts on his human suit and laughably tries to pretend to be one of you. Go there and leave a comment on the article you like best. If you want, click the bars in the upper left corner and look at the sidebar.

Buster is standing by to promptly ship copies to winners.
Or, whenever he gets over, uh, his distemper.

"Pfft," Bear hears you say. "Changing the rules? Now I have to go to another one of this stupid animal's blogs just to win an autographed copy of his dubious novel big enough to drop Father where he stands when he starts in on one of his interfaith homilies?" (Of course, no one would actually do that. It would risk damaging your copy, which will be worth a lot of money some day.)

Exactly. And that's how the Bear is going to separate the real men and women from the gender-confused masses unworthy to possess his book because if you do not understand how mating works between a man and a woman, a lot of it will be over your head, anyway.

Hey, each book is a $29.99 value, and the Bear pays shipping in U.S. How can the Bear do this? Easy. By making sure Red Death never finds out! Our little secret: you, Bear, and Buster our shipping department.

EBAY 2027!

JUDGING ANGELS, by Tim Capps, 1st ed. Moderate amount of smiting damage from being used as a missile during Mass. Cover has tiny symbols, apparently of successful strikes, similar to those painted on WWII aircraft. Priest 4; Choir Director 6; Altar Girls 2; Generic People 10. Coffee stains on pages from coffee squirting out of nose during fits of laughter. Otherwise in good condition. This is a very rare find. Inscribed in blue Flair pen with "Bear doodle" and autographed to [IMAGINE YOUR NAME HERE!]. New York Book Festival Honorable Mention sticker on cover. (Especially rare since the Bear developed a taste for the glue, and ate most of the stickers before they got on the books.) ASKING: $5000.

(Altar Girls? Wow. That's pretty cold even for a Bear.)


Read about it here. Deadline midnight (CST) Friday, 25th of August. Tough competition out there. And if you have read it and not reviewed it yet, please drop a ridiculously important review at Amazon.

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