ITASCA STATE PARK - A hibernating black bear awoke in a cold sweat earlier today from a nightmare where she had to wake up at an absurdly early hour every day during winter instead of staying blissfully dormant with a reduced heart rate for the entire season.
The dream took an even darker turn when the bear had to walk through subzero temperatures in literal feet of snow to a job she hated. Then, after hours of performing monotonous tasks interspersed with 15 minute breaks spent silently staring at herself in a bathroom mirror, 180 pound mother of two cubs dreamed she was finally allowed to return to her den.
However, before she could get even a moment’s rest, her dream self was inundated with various other responsibilities like removing snow from her den’s walkway, cooking, and arguing over minor fees with another bear called a “landlord”. Though it only lasted a few minutes, she felt she’d been trapped in the dream for months.
Perhaps the scariest part was that within this surreal and spooky dream world, she was one of the lucky ones. Having these responsibilities was a privilege. In this nightmare society, some bears couldn't afford a den at all. After jolting awake, the bear was left to sit alone in silence, pondering the horrors and what they might mean, while holding her sleeping cubs tight.
Thankfully, after finally falling back asleep, the bear had a pleasant dream in which she ate a delicious honeycomb while being stung by hundreds of bees.