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A Bear Striving For Perfection This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By Michael A., Brooklyn, NY

Unless wounded or startled, never attackhumans;
When winters are cold, take a long sleep in thewarmth of a secure cave;
If any intruders trespass intoyour cave while you hibernate, take care of them
- let themknow who is boss;
When you smell food from a picnic, stealit as quickly as possible and run;
Remember that porridgeis for humans, not bears;
Don't sleep in little girl'sbeds, especially those named Goldilocks;
You areomnivorous, so eat anything (and plenty of it!). Remember themore
you weigh, the more intimidating you are;
Nevershave your shaggy coat of fur - appearance iseverything;
For all except the heavy grizzly bears, climbtrees and enjoy the fresh air;
Avoid bear traps;
Stompout all forest fires;
Stay away from the circus - it ishumiliating;
Sharpen your claws - they are your best weaponof defense;
Honey is the universal snack;
If you are notchasing someone or stealing something, move as little aspossible;
Don't be caught wandering in rural areas; stay indark, secluded woods;
Pay gratitude to Yogi andSmoky;
Always bear in mind who you are.

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