Mountain Poetry  The bear’s reply

Chris Tuffley envisions ‘the bear’s reply’ in an eloquent reimagining of the children’s poem ‘The Bear Went Over the Mountain,’ which forgets to mention all the wondrous sights, smells and experiences above and beyond the mere ‘other side of the mountain.’ He invites readers to explore their senses and captures breathtaking moments from his many trips over the mountain.

By Chris Tuffley | March 4th, 2021

The bear climbed over the mountain
To see what he could see
What a song to stifle
A kid's curiosity.

The other side of the mountain –
Of course that's all that's there!
I'll go climb no mountain –
I'm no foolish bear!
The other side of the mountain – 
You're sure that's all to see?
In one who's not been up the peak
I sense great certainty.

Tell me then of what's to see:
What trees are there? What birds, what rocks?
And when you came back down again
What burrs were on your socks?
And as you climbed up that tall peak
How did you find the air?
Was it sweet, or cold and bleak,
Or far too thin up there?

What sounds there filled your senses –
Did you hear birds that sing?
The sigh of wind in great tall trees,
The chirp of some small thing?
Now tell me of the textures
Of rock and snow and bark.
Were they rough, or smooth to touch,
The colours light or dark?

And last of all your spirit
Tell me, did it soar?
Looking down on the world below
At the wonder of it all?
The other side of the mountain –
Sure that's there to see.
But if you want to find what else
Why don't you come along with me?

The other side of the mountain –
I see there's more to know!
I'd love to join you on your trip
How soon can we go?

Image credits: Chris Tuffley

To view the original children’s poem, “The Bear Went Over the Mountain,” click here.

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