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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

When Bulls teach Bears how to be men.

I have no idea how many of you hunt big game, But I really enjoy hunting. A few years ago I witnessed something that has stuck with me. Several of my friends and I were hunting elk in Colorado. We chose the last rifle season in hopes of getting into some cold weather. When it snows up high the elk move and we were in luck. As I sat high up on a ridge in one degree weather, I watched an old majestic bull and his herd. I was to far away from him to even think about taking a shot, so I just watched his drama unfold before me.

The big bulls massive horned crown stretched past his mid back. The bass of his rack looked like it was made from the thick part of a Louisville slugger. His body was huge, a hunters dream he was. He had lead his herd into a bad situation at a very fast pace. As hunters below scattered to get into position to take a shot he realized his mistake and re-directed his herd. As he turned his herd, it appeared that some knucklehead took a bad shot and wounded this noble beast. I was angry that this had happened and started rooting for the big bull. what happen next amazed me. The injured bull began to lag behind due to his injury. A pack of coyotes started to pursue him as his herd pulled away. I was tempted to take a few shots to scare the weaselly pests away, but realized at my distance I may hit him. I was sadden at the prospect of such a noble animal being reduced to coyote bait because of a fellow hunter's foolish effort.

As the coyotes closed in, all of the young bulls from the herd fell back and made a circle around this big bull. They kept his pace, step for step and warded off any attempt by the coyotes to get close. I watched, motionless, as the events unfolded. I asked myself about how these young bulls learned such honor and respect for their leader. The dedication to him was unbelievable.
To this day I am in awe of this bull and his herd.

Recently I was thinking about this bull and the lessons I learned from him. I asked myself, "who is teaching the younger males around me how to be men?" I know I had to learn through trial and error. But why do we continue this habit? Why do we allow young men to struggle in their marriages? Who teaches them about their role has a young bull who will someday lead their own herd? Who is teaching them the do's and don'ts of life? What to worry about and what to just let go? Where as men, do we learn how to validate our wife's efforts? Where do we learn what spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, security means, looks like, and feels like? I wish I had a noble old bull to teach me.

Thoughts?

3 comments:

storyteller said...

What a powerful shared story. The way the young bulls encircled their older wounded leader brought tears to my eyes and created a lump in my throat. I wonder if this noble creature recovered?

If I was still in the classroom, it would be the first thing I shared with my students today. Then I'd have them freewrite for 10 minutes, share in groups of four, and freewrite again ... with a follow up assignment to discuss this story with their parents and/or friends. Almost makes me wish I wasn't "happily retired" ... almost. :)

I'll be pondering your questions myself today ... sharing this story with those I encounter ... listening to their responses and considering my own. Thank you for this gift.
Hugs and blessings,

Talking Bear said...

ST, I am egarly awaiting for you to share what others shared about this post. I would also like to hear your point of view on what we should be teaching young man when it comes to their role early in a marriage. This is a topic best suited to be addressed by a lady who has some history to reflect back on. What would you have liked your husband to have known and how would that have effected your realationship?

Storyteller said...

I'm still mulling over what we need to teach young women about theirs. Seems like both need to be comfortable in their own skin (just as they are) and like their partner (just as he or she is) ... with no expectation of changing themselves or their partner (because that never works). The relationship itself is a separate entity ... and IT needs to be nourished. Off the top of my head, it's about balance, caring, sharing, receiving, expressing gratitude & appreciation, being present, paying attention, speaking truthfully, and about forgiveness of self and others ... at least for starters. ;)

That's about it from me for now at least.
Have a great weekend.
Hugs & blessings,

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