National Geographic

photo by @randyolson | words by @neilshea13 — Larry said he did it all the time, walked Coco down a path behind the general store to the river and let him play. Nobody paid much mind. Normal to hear them crashing through the water, wrestling, like brothers. The guy who’d owned the store previously kept pit bulls, loud and mean, awful things, and so Coco was an improvement even if people had never seen such a creature before in the Ozarks. Larry called him a cinnamon bear, though the chest stripe suggested a land far more exotic, and in the mornings you’d find him sitting on the bench swing outside the store, straight-backed, folded paws, just another customer waiting for Larry to open shop. Imagine that—You come over early looking for coffee and find Coco, silent and watchful, like you hadn’t yet come all the way up from a dream. Larry kept him on a chain most of the time and used the stick not for hurting but for guiding. Suggesting. Keeping a little distance. On this day, though, the play turned bad and Coco ended up on top of Larry, pinning him to the bottom of the Little Buffalo, watching his air go. It was a great game—all those bubbles, the little arms flailing, the lousy stick floating downstream. When Coco finally let off, Larry slowly rose and stood there in the water, half-drowned and drooling. Eventually the two dripped back toward shore. There were chores ahead, customers waiting. Day was getting hot. Who knows what had passed between them or where things went from there.

#arkansas #ozarks #littlebuffaloriver #bears #sunbear #bearsofinstagram #rivers #adryseason #watershedstories #new_haiga #wildcountry #backwoods @thephotosociety
Part of a series exploring the small stories that surround and connect us, and how we stumble through them—capturing, missing, and making meaning.

photo by @randyolson | words by @neilshea13 — Larry said he did it all the time, walked Coco down a path behind the general store to the river and let him play. Nobody paid much mind. Normal to hear them crashing through the water, wrestling, like brothers. The guy who’d owned the store previously kept pit bulls, loud and mean, awful things, and so Coco was an improvement even if people had never seen such a creature before in the Ozarks. Larry called him a cinnamon bear, though the chest stripe suggested a land far more exotic, and in the mornings you’d find him sitting on the bench swing outside the store, straight-backed, folded paws, just another customer waiting for Larry to open shop. Imagine that—You come over early looking for coffee and find Coco, silent and watchful, like you hadn’t yet come all the way up from a dream. Larry kept him on a chain most of the time and used the stick not for hurting but for guiding. Suggesting. Keeping a little distance. On this day, though, the play turned bad and Coco ended up on top of Larry, pinning him to the bottom of the Little Buffalo, watching his air go. It was a great game—all those bubbles, the little arms flailing, the lousy stick floating downstream. When Coco finally let off, Larry slowly rose and stood there in the water, half-drowned and drooling. Eventually the two dripped back toward shore. There were chores ahead, customers waiting. Day was getting hot. Who knows what had passed between them or where things went from there.
—
#arkansas #ozarks #littlebuffaloriver #bears #sunbear #bearsofinstagram #rivers #adryseason #watershedstories #new_haiga #wildcountry #backwoods @thephotosociety —
Part of a series exploring the small stories that surround and connect us, and how we stumble through them—capturing, missing, and making meaning.

5,061

@poopie757

@blakekristin I love National Geographic

@poopie757

Amen - side_of_gravy!!!👍

@poopie757

@ckatz wait till you have a baby n it bites you babies face off- then you might think differently

@micheal_mars_bound

Pitbulls: loud and mean...? Not a statement I like to see @natgeo supporting/sharing.

@ali.pamuk

Wow! incredible photo 👏

@savage_bug

@quambomb @quambomb @quambomb !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@juferome

@nmsaiz jajajajajajajajaja te juro que no es cierto, es un montaje

@nmsaiz

@juferome 🤨🤼‍♂️

@maria.gps

Maravilhoso _ simplesmente belo

@christianmad5944

I wouldn't play with a bear. Something tells me it wouldn't be fun.

@rafaelmartinez4288

Seems so real ! Wamr

@erieshore54

@edepalma5 You and I could view a painting at the Met and interpret the piece in different ways yet both enjoy the art. Writing can evoke many feelings in people but that does not make them illiterate and sad. I am not quite understanding your disdain for those who do not see/feel what you do

@cazpatrick

Whats more concerning is how many people like this story, Bears are not meant to be pets. There must be a story behind why he is being kept as one.

@gimme_watermelon

@edepalma5 so eloquent! Great comment; you described how I comprehended the post exactly. 💚✌️

@assuntagarcia

Abraço de urso!!!!!!!

@markoconnor87

@luckymrso looks like fun!

@kerstinkallsten

Awful story! 😱😠👿😢

@robynjwright

@edepalma5 I also liked the way it was written, but I still don't like the way it seems to normalise someone keeping a bear on a chain, a very long way from where the bear is from.

@iamnick_jonas

Bet they sing my song

@the.softskeleton

Didn't the grizzly man teach white people that bears aren't friends?

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