The Bear

A few months ago I took my daughters to see the bear. The bear was sleeping. My daughters—two and four years old—crouched against the glass and whispered for the bear to wake up so they could share their Cheerios. They were pretty cute. I was less cute, breathing hard in my sweaty gray T-shirt, having pushed the jogger up Lake Michigan to the zoo.

Two boys walked over, and stood on either side of the girls. They were seven or eight. One was wearing a Cubs hat. They started punching the glass.

“Hey bear! Wake up!” Punch, punch. My daughters looked up to me. The boys’ mother stood behind us and didn’t say anything. Punch.

The bear woke, and turned its head.

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