Summer Camp Romance - Hand-made Collage

Though Scout Master Haig looked down on such things I befriended a brown bear from the adjacent woods. I called him Wilfred Owen after the poet. The name struck me as an excellent one for a bear. Wilfred was kind and gallant if a bit gamey. He liked nothing better than to lay at my feet while I read to him. I didn't know his precise age, but I thought of us as contemporaries.

We spent our afternoons in perfect contentment. As summer drew to a close, a pain in my heart expanded knowing that soon I would return to London and Wilfred to the woods. On our last day together, I read him, Smile, Smile, Smile, a poem that never failed to set Wilfred's ears a-twitter. The distant clang of the lodge dinner bell beckoned. I rose to say goodbye for the very last time. Wilfred stood on his back legs and as if he understood the meaning of that evening's departure he leaned forward and nuzzled me with his great moist nose. Tears filled my eyes. "Goodbye Wilfred!" I cried and ran all the way back to camp never turning to look back.