The bear and the bear and the bear and the honey haibun
by Mercedes Webb-Pullman

The first bear is not the biggest but he is always first. The second bear is the biggest but she is never first. The smallest bear is neither here nor      there.

The bears can’t bear to walk alone. There’s always another bear there although they barely notice and don’t converse, saving their breath for breakfast in case the porridge is too hot and needs to be blown over.

The second bear should have the biggest chair because she is the biggest bear, but she lets it slide, it’s not worth an argument, and if it makes him feel good, well, why not?

The first bear takes the biggest chair as if by right and never thinks of how the second bear might be more comfortable in it. He takes the biggest bed for the same reason. He’s not very aware of the needs of      others.

The smallest bear knows he’ll grow up to be the first bear one day when it’s time. He wonders where a second bear will come from, for him. Maybe this little girl will grow hair, and bigger teeth and toenails.

He’s happy to share his chair, his breakfast and his bed. Or maybe he can shave, and leave with her when she’s finished breaking and entering. They can live the life of outlaws on the edge. He hopes he won’t have to take drugs and listen to awful music. Though he quite fancies himself as a rapper, and gets on down whenever he can. He starts to call her ‘Honey.’

after morning walks
an adventure coming home
nothing stays the same

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This is a retelling of my favorite fairytale.

IMAGE: “The Three Bears Family Portrait” by Bob Orsillo. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Mercedes Webb-Pullman received an MA in Creative Writing from IIML Victoria University Wellington New Zealand in 2011. Her work has appeared in Turbine, 4th Floor, Swamp, Reconfigurations, The Electronic Bridge, poetryrepairs, Connotations, The Red Room and books Numeralla Dreaming, After the Danse, Food 4 Thought, Looking for Kerouac, Ono, and Bravo Charlie Foxtrot.