Demise of the Ivy Bear

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Written by Gritfish

Demise of the Ivy Bear

Ivy Bear lived in the forested foothills, at the foot of the mountain, Wy'East.
He was thirty feet tall standing on haunches, with an aura of tolerance and peace.
Ivy Bear watched over a meadow featuring wildflowers and a bubbling spring.
He provided right livelihood for two humans; they owed their wellbeing to him. 
Ivy Bear was a roadside attraction; a cedar snag shaped like a bear
And sculptured as an ivy topiary, the creation of a deaf, speechless pair. 
Picnic tables were set in the meadow and could be rented for nominal fees.
The curio shop featured souvenirs, light meals, berries (in season) and teas.
A marvelous thing: the aforementioned spring 
Emerged from a tangle of roots that served as the feet of the bear.
The two deaf mutes, by constructing a cobbled rock weir,
Confined a crystalline pool, which was home to a school of bright rainbow trout.
One could purchase a worm and toss it over the berm, causing fish to dart all about.
Thus, although neither could hear nor could speak, the couple could eke
A satisfactory and comfortable living, thanks to Ivy Bear at Alder Creek.

The bear and the pair were symbiotic, flourishing in a unique natural site
As endangered species in a fragile environment waltz an immemorial rite. 
But plans were made to widen the highway (plans about which they weren't asked).
By changing from highway to freeway, the financial gains were promoted as vast.
The meadow was condemned and paved over by right of eminent domain,
The topiary chopped down, de-watered and made into a slow vehicle lane.
Despondent and deprived of income and pride, 
The husband shot himself in the head—suicide.
His wife was sent to a custodial home where she died.

And what was the cost of this project? A landmark and some human debris.
And what was the gain? A few seconds faster up the mountain to ski. 

Oh, marvelous totem, woe, magical beast--your spirit still lingers on the way to Wy'East.
 


Epilogue
The Ivy Bear has had a macabre revenge. The straightaway at Alder Creek is prone to icing in the winter and serious car wrecks, including fatalities, are common there. The department of transportation has designated the stretch as one of the three most dangerous highways in the state.

Gritfish © 2002

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