Once upon a time in a forest not far away, there lived a very fuzzy bear.
Now Bears usually go lumbering through the forest on all four legs,
but this bear always seemed to be limping.
As if there was something wrong with his front paw.
Other animals would question why he walked with a limp?
and the bear would reply, " I dont limp"
or, depending on how he felt at that moment,
I dont know why I limp?
Sometimes the bear could sense pain deep down inside his paw
and he would hold it up and look at it. But he saw nothing unusual.
It looked just like his other paws, with scarecely any signs of scars or cuts or problems that would cause him to limp.
Now this Bear also had problems getting along with the other Bears in the forest.
He didn't want to tumble and play with the others, and didn't understand why any bear would want to tumble with another Bear.
He didn't enjoy getting honey out of the trees
Often the bear felt a deep sadness within him, but he wasn't quite sure why?
He seemed unable to feel the feelings that other bears told him they had
or to enjoy life as other bears seemed to.
One day as he was walking down a path with nowhere in particular to go
The bear came upon a little cub who had fallen into a clump of prickly bushes and now had a huge and sharp thorn lodged in it's paw.
The little cub was wimpering and crying because he was very afraid and did not seem to know what to do to get rid of its pain.
Gently the bear held the little cub and pulled the thorn out of his paw.
The cub whimpered and cried for some time after the thorn was removed.
The bear watched and comforted the cub as the bleeding stopped and the wound began to heal.
All at once as the bear looked down at the young cub, from deep within him in the hidden corners of his memory a picture from the past began to appear.
A picture from a time when he too had fallen into a prickly bush and lodged a huge thorn deep within the pad of his right front paw.
The memory became clearer as he realized that when he was younger he didn't
know how to get anyone to help him.
So gradually the skin on his paw grew around the thorn, covering up the thorn and also covering up the knowledge that it was even there.
But the sharpe object lay deep within his paw, surrounded by infection that spread throughout his whole body, leaving only numbness instead of feelings of being a bear.
As he found this memory, the bear understood what he had to do.
He soon helped the little cub and its Mother and then set off to find other bears in the forest and ask for their help in removing the thorn.
Before long he managed to find a bear with much experience in thorn removal.
"This is going to hurt some" said the wise bear.
It has been buried for so long that as we bring it up, you may wonder if you shouldn't leave it in place so you won't have the sharp pain now!....
But... she went on
This thorn has hurt you far more than you now understand.
It must come out so that the infection that it caused in your body can be healed.
Then using pressure and persuasion. the wise bear eased the sharp thorn nearer and nearer to the surface of the lonely bear's paw until at last it was visible and could be removed.
All the other bears helped too, and before long every bit of the thorn was out.
Getting all of the pieces of the thorn out after such a long time was painful.
But the bear understood that in order for his pain to be completely gone
Every bit of the long embedded thorn had to be released from his paw.
As he began to heal his paw sometimes hurt, but he noticed that each day
he felt better and better
It was amazing, he was experiencing feelings in a new way and seeing the world through the eyes of a bear who at last, loved being a bear.
He told other bears how powerful a mind can be to hide the pain of a thorn buried deep within a paw.
For he understood the lesson of the thorn that pain not remembered can be the most destructive pain of all.