Monday, April 09, 2007

Little Bears and William James

Walking through the fields outside a really lovely country house. I see bears here and there but they’re small, like cubs, and seem playful, not threatening. They begin to approach, like kittens, looking to play, and we are aware we shouldn’t fool with them too much; it’s not good for the bears to get too accustomed to humans. As we approach the house, the bears want to come in with us, and we have to make sure the doors and windows are secure and they can’t get in. A couple do, though, and we have to catch them and out them outside. As I look at the doorway, I se a few extremely tiny bears—I think I am supposed to call them “pups”—trying to wiggle under the sill; they’re only an inch or two long. I wonder if I’m supposed to step on them and pick them up and fling them away.
It is the house of the philosopher William James—though he’s a very contemporary middle-aged man—and I’m there with Donald and some other people; I don’t know who. I am trying to be a very good guest, but I feel I’m irritating William James and he is just politely tolerating me, which I find very disappointing.

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