Friday, 1 March 2013

Gonwid: the Prequel.

Just in case Gonwid the Bear should find himself the subject of another allegorical anecdote one of these days, I thought I might say something about his early life to flesh out his character a little.

As a very young cub, Gonwid had a noted propensity for flatulence, and his parents used it to raise their stock with the other bears in the valley. They would take little Gonwid a-visiting, saying ‘Meet our one cub gasworks. We call him Gonwid the Wind.’ The other bears would chortle heartily. ‘Ha, ha, ha,’ they would exclaim. ‘Like that. Gonwid the Wind. Nice one.’ And, having attained the enviable position of Valley Comedians, even if only briefly, the parents would bask in the warm light of social approbation.

Gonwid, however, was already possessed of a virulent – and sometimes violent –dislike of mockery, and responded to his parents’ habit of climbing socially at his expense by developing a precociously deep growl that was wondrous to behold. He also disowned and abandoned them as soon as he was old enough to realise that men with murderous metal tubes were usually American tourists, and rebelled against all convention by living alone in the hills, becoming vegetarian, and making friends with unlikely creatures such as caterpillars instead of other bears.

And this is why Gonwid now has a reputation for grumpiness and well practiced avoidance of his own kind, although he is much given to expressing random acts of kindness to children and the rest of the animal kingdom, rarely having to try too hard since such acts are fundamental to his nature. His only regret at having turned vegetarian is that his conscience won’t allow him to eat American tourists bearing murderous metal tubes, but this is just one of many complications that provide him with an endless stock of things about which to grumble endlessly.

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