- JACK AN' THE BEAR -
Ol' Jack hated winter, of that there's no question;
 In fact he'd get mad at the slightest suggestion
Of icicles, blizzards, and wind-driven snow
 And would share his disdain
  With a verbalized flow:

"Considering seasons, that one is the worst―
 Of all things I hate it is plainly the first!
From the bite of the wind to the crunch of the snow,
 These are symptoms of winter
  I'd rather not know."


One cold afternoon ol' Jack found himself wishing
 For something for dinner so off he went fishing,
But once he arrived his foul temper was lost
 'Cause the river was frozen
  And covered with frost.

"If today was in summer or autumn or spring
 I'd already be fishin' with bait, hook, and string, 
But now I must locate a stout club or bat
 And smash holes through this ice
  To get where fish are at."


So he looked all around 'till he found a strong stick
 And then searched for a place where the ice was less thick
When a growl from the woods gave ol' Jack quite a scare―
 He was watched from a rock
  By a ravenous bear!

That bear gave a lunge and ol' Jack hove a swing
 And that stick packed a whack that made grizzly ears ring
Which gave ol' Jack a minute to shin up a tree
 And scramble too high
  For the stunned bear to see.

"If it had been springtime when meeting that bear,
 I wouldn't have noticed him watching from there;
He would have snuck up and attacked while I rested
 And I'd be inside of that bear
  Half digested."


Jack perched on the branches and peered at the ground
 Where the furious grizzly was sniffing around
While he tried to devise an escape strategy
 So he wouldn't be frozen to death
  Up a tree.

But just when Jack's getaway planning ran dry,
 The bear spied a cavernous oak stump nearby
And decided the shelter was perfect to use
 As a cozy retreat
  For a mid-winter snooze.

"If this had been summertime," muttered ol' Jack,
 "That bear would have climbed and ate me for a snack,
But because the cold weather has made him so drowsy,
 My chances of getting away
  Ain't so lousy."


So he hung from a branch o'er a soft patch of mud
 And dropped down to the ground with a delicate thud,
Then he tiptoed away, his heart throbbing with fear
 Until he crept further
  Than bear ears could hear.

"In the autumn this tale would have ended quite poorly
 With me being caught by the bear prematurely;
Dry leaves on the ground would have made a loud crunch
 And betrayed my escape
  From his grisly lunch."


As ol' Jack wandered home through the landscape of white,
 He considered the lessons he'd learned from his plight;
Perhaps he'd been hasty in what he believed―
 Could his loathing of winter
  Be wrongly conceived?

"I guess when the Lord was creating the seasons
 He came up with winter for big and small reasons; 
The earth needed time to relax and prepare
 And someday it would save this old fool
  From a bear!"