There was, once upon a time, a man who developed a friendship with a bear. One of the wise tried to warn him, saying “Think again, brother. Every association has a consequence,” but the man paid no attention. “The bear is completely devoted to me,” he said. “I have never had such a good friend. We are happy in each other’s company. What consequence should I fear from that?” And the other simply shook his head and said no more.
One day, the man and the bear were travelling through a forest. It was a warm summer day, and the man began to feel like taking a rest. So the man said to the bear, “Now I am going to lie down under this tree and sleep. You keep watch, and see that I come to no harm.”
The bear was very devoted to his friend, and so, while the man fell into a sleep, the bear sat by him, faithfully watching. Soon, though, the bear noticed that a fly was buzzing around his friend.
The bear waved the fly away with its enormous paw, but it soon returned.
The bear again waved its paw. The fly darted off for a second, and then once again began to circle over the man’s head.
Becoming angry now, the bear swatted again and again at the buzzing fly. And every time the insect flew out of reach, only to return once more to dance about the head of the sleeping man.
The bear was now furious. How could this insolent fly dare to threaten the sleep of his dear friend?
Then the fly went so far as to land on the head of the man, and the bear saw its chance! With all the strength that could tear the bark off an oak tree, it slammed its giant paw down on the fly.
The fly, of course, danced away unharmed, but the man awoke with blood streaming down his face.