Cybil had not always been faithful to her husband, nor was he faithful to her. She had done it for revenge – sleeping with another man. She had hated it. Well, to be frank, it was quite pleasant. Her husband Jody was a terrible lover and an immature human being. But he was her husband and that counted for something. She wanted it to count for something.

But then she found out about his infidelities in Tacoma, where the bank would often send him for regional seminars. That time she had slept with the man in the circus out of spite.

When Jody said he wanted a maid, Cybil decided revenge was improper. No, she would stop sleeping with roustabouts and regain her place as his devoted wife. She would not invite a potential adulteress into her home. Instead, she called in a favor from her man in the circus and hired for her husband a bear.

Her husband stared at the bear when she brought it into the living room. His pipe fell out of his mouth and his paper withered in his lap. The bear stared at her husband.

Cybil brushed the bear’s glossy back and righted the little fez that perched on his giant head. She told him that the bear was well trained and could tidy up around the house. It would be a more than adequate maid and they could pay him in berries. The bear was fond of berries, she said. And he even played the accordion.

Her husband voiced several outraged but measured doubts (he kept his voice low to not upset the bear). To these Cybil gingerly removed the bear’s fez and replaced it with a maid’s bonnet. She spoke to it in soothing tones and then the bear ambled up to Jody, picked up his pipe in its teeth, and set it in the paper in Jody’s lap. The bear shoved its wet snout into his chest.

“He wants a berry,” said Cybil.

“I don’t have any berries,” said Jody.

“You better pick some up,” she said. “Every night before you come home. He likes fresh berries.”

The hungry look in the bear’s eyes told Jody this was true.

The Story of the Bear
 Chapter 1 – The Bear & the Balloon
 Chapter 2 – The Bear & the Berries
 Chapter 4 – The Bear & the Lucky Break

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