Bear in the northwest legends are powerful and human-like.  You can marry them if you like.  A brown bear as dark as many black bears–except for his blond ears–has been fishing the stream out my window, scooping up pink salmon as if his hand were a fork, and tossing back the ones that don’t pass the sniff test.  He sits in the creek when it’s deep from the tide “like a man sitting in a hot tub” (P. Christo).

This wooden figure has bear-like ears but no canines.  The canines are optional, according to some books.  “The minimal tail of the bear is generally ignored.”


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