The Hunter And The Bear
(The Story Of A Compromise)


A hunter went out on a hunt
To try to kill a bear,
He was a weedy little runt,
But didn’t seem to care.

He wasn’t frightened, not at all,
For he had quite a gun,
It made him feel, oh, eight feet tall,
It wasn’t just to stun.

He’d tramped a mile or so, when guess
What our brave hunter saw.
A bear? I’ll say it was, and yes,
It had an injured paw.

He crept up on the wounded bear,
And sighted down his gun.
Then it turned, gave a frightened stare,
But was too weak to run.

The hunter gripped the trigger, and
Was just about to blast
The bear, when it cried:
“Hold it man, don’t rush this thing too fast.

What have I ever done to you?
I’ve never caused you harm.”
The hunter paused: “I guess that’s true.”
Then said with touching charm:

“I’m sure you’re quite a friendly bear,
And I’m a peaceful bloke,
I realise this must seem unfair,
But trouble is, I’m broke,

And I must have a fur coat soon,
For winter’s on its way,
A mink or suede would cost the Moon,
So you, not me, must pay.

Don’t be afraid, my friend,
Just hold your breath, and close your eyes”.
“Hold on a sec’, this ain’t the end”,
The bear said, “Compromise!”

The hunter blinked, and said: “Do what?
A compromise indeed!
I want a fur coat, (which you’ve got),
But what have I you need?”

The bear’s eyes twinkled craftily
As he went on: “Why food;
I’ve none, while you’ve got plenty, see,
If you don’t think me rude.”

The hunter gripped his skinny tum,
A chill ran down his spine.
The bear suppressed a giggly “Yum!”
And thought: “You’ll soon be mine.”

The hunter said: “I see the point
You’ve delicately made,
You’ve got a coat, I’ve got a joint,
But we’ve no way to trade.”

“O yes we have”, the bear said,
“We’re both reasonable men,
Put down your gun and come sit here,
It’s not beyond all ken

That we can formulate a plan
To satisfy both parties,
A bear is clever, so’s a man,
So we’re a couple of smarties.”

The hunter thought that sounded fair,
Poor fool, he didn’t sus
The simple fact the bear
Had naught to trade (nor to discuss).

So that was that, the hunter got
His coat, the bear his meal,
Because the former didn’t twig just what
Would be the deal.

Poor hunter, but don’t pity him,
Because it now transpires,
His father warned him time ag’in:
“Sam, don’t trust bears, them’s liars!”

[The above was published originally in the 1987 anthology We’re Coming For Your Telecom Shares, and in the 1992 printed/on-line anthology Libertarian Verse.]

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