We’re back again for another exciting hiatus week!  Today we have a double dose of bear-related fan content.

First off, Jonathan Lareva sent in this great picture of a werebear — a murderous lumberjack werebear.  There’s not much I know of that’s more dangerous than a werebear, except for possibly a werebear holding an axe.  Oddly enough this is the first of two guest pieces that feature a bear with a beard.  In my sheltered little world-view I had never considered this possibility, but there is is, staring you in the face.  Also I couldn’t help but think of the lumberjack song.  There’s worse songs to have stuck in your head for the day, but there’s also much better ones.

Johnathan’s site is The Mexican Samurai.  Stop by and check out some of his other art, it’s great!

Also, Ezra Schott sent in a short story.  It’s like a drawing, but with words:

Bear Police Department, By Ezra Schott

I live in a city patrolled by the BPD. Human kind has admitted it’s obsolete status in that particular area of municipal life, wisely deciding to hand over the job for those that were clearly born for the role. The YPD (Yosemite Police Department) now operates on two thirds of last years budget, given that the bears don’t require salary and live off of scraps and whatever they can forage from the urban environment. Like pigeons, but with a keen eye for protecting the law. The cop cars were deemed unsuitable for use in the new system. It was reasoned that seeing a cop car is only enough to scare off punks and counterfeit handbag vendors, while the looming figure of a bear will spur even the most hardened criminal into a state of terror. And so the black and white stripes were painted over with pink, then sold in bulk to used car dealerships.

Other than the privilege of skimming the top off of the cities burgeoning compost reserve, the bears seemed to do their job solely for the honor and heroism of the duty. Of course, a few city officials got suspicious that the new bear enforcers might be susceptible to bribes. That these “new recruits” might occasionally turn a blind eye to the mob in exchange for beehives, deer carcasses, that sort of thing. That’s how I got my job, one that I’m very lucky to have. Whenever a new bear comes in from the forest looking for a job with the YPD, it’s my responsibility to make sure they are thoroughly incorruptible and have pristine integrity through a series of tricky interviews and tests, specifically designed for bears. It would be a drag if the bears I interviewed were more nefarious or fraudulent in some particular way, but on the whole the bears that I review are hard-working creatures just trying to make their way in the world. It’s sort of boring to never catch any of them in a lie, but I’m fine with that if it means I’m doing my job well. Not that it’s that hard of a job to do, I only have to review applications for a few hours a day. The rest of the time I just lay back and watch the bears roll into the station, convicts and captured felons lying in fetus positions in their arms, ready to be locked up in jail and wait for parole. I’ll take a sip of lemonade, and if I have the energy for it I’ll go back to typing my in depth status report to the mayor. If not, I’ll just sit back and wait.

I glance over at the single interview question on my paper. The Criterion of Ethics from which all else follows.

There is a criminal running away from a honey store.  While he is running away, he spills some of the honey he stole on himself.  The human-criminal is now covered in honey.

Do you eat him?

I thought the end of the story was subtle, but great. Unfortunately Ezra didn’t include a site to plug, so hopefully he’ll turn up in the comments if he has a site to share.

Thanks  Johnathan and Ezra!

We’re also basically full on submissions at this point, so now we just have to ride it out till May 9th…see you back here on Friday!