Excerpts from Teddy Roosevelt’s Practical Field Guide to Hunting and Killing Care Bears
HERE is no greater test of a man’s mettle than the tracking and killing of the American Ursa cura—the Care Bear, an animal known for its agility and cleverness, as well as its deceptive cuddliness. This is the only guide to the art of capturing and killing the elusive Care Bear, penned by a man who has hunted, hated, and been haunted by the fuzzy might and majesty of the Care Bear.
First thing’s first: Keep your distance. If you get too close, the Care Bears will try to hug you. Either one at a time or as a group. Avoid contact at all costs. If you find yourself in the midst of a hugging, ride it out. Let it run its natural course—which will be longer than you expect. The psychological damage of a hug lasting six hours or longer is immeasurable and can require self-termination. My schoolmate Rupert was hugged for that length, and now works in theatre. Poor Rupert—Better to die with honor than spend the rest of your days a limp-wristed nancy.
Care Bears will try to hug you, one at a time OR AS A GROUP.
I often hear fops, dandies, and dunderheads nattering on about adverse weather conditions during Care Bear hunts. Adverse? More like ideal. Listen here: Care Bears love rainbows. They’ve practically run the leprechauns away from them. And one cannot have a rainbow without a little rain. So you get a little damp—so what? When you see the flash of your muzzle, and hear the explosion of bone and gristle and the soft thud of that Care Bear hitting the leafy forest floor, well, you’ll feel like it’s the sunniest day at the county fair.
When I’m in the woods on a hunt, I like to remember this simple acrostic: CARE. Stands for “Come Armed Ready to Execute.” It’s simple. Remembering can save you from being incapacitated by the Care Bears’ most devastating form of defense, the Care Bear Stare. (Beams of blinding light shine from their chests but their beady shark eyes stay black as night.)
Many a dimwitted novice has mistakenly assumed that Care Bears are more difficult to track because their scat is comprised of “rainbows and happy thoughts.” This is just a rumor; a Care Bear is a bear first and foremost, and, yes, bears shit in the woods. So find those round balls of glittery shit and you’re well on the way to shooting a Care Bear right in the fuzzy bits.
As a side note, that kind with a cupcake on its chest doesn’t taste like cake. It just tastes like regular bear, but grind its flesh anyway. It makes a tasty sausage, provided you have the right seasoning.
The Care Bear might try to lull you in to a false sense of security—outfox the bugger at its own game. Smile at it, then talk softly and beat it with a big stick. And you can feel environmentally positive as you do so. That tree you just cut down? Its branch in your hand is now an instrument of cuddly ursine death. If that’s not conservation at its finest, by Gum, then my name’s not Teddy Roosevelt!
Like any hunting exhibition, appropriate dress is key if you want to get the animal in your cuddle crosshairs. The Care Bear is drawn to little girls in distress. Use this to your advantage. On your hunting exhibitions wear little-girl clothes. (It’s advised to wear bloomers around the house until you get used to them and feel natural. I’m wearing mine as I pen this guide in an attempt to access my inner bear hunter. And they are remarkably comfortable).
When you come upon a pack of grazing Care Bears, you may feel the urge to wait for a clear shot at a particular bear—say, the one with the belly badge. Stuff and nonsense. Blast the first bugger you see right between its beady little eyes. Blam-o!
A common mistake is to leave your bear stand before the very last minute of the hunting day. Many men are eager to race home to eat the porridge their wives have made them and change out of their hunting bloomers. These men are damned fools! Often the best shooting is done when the last speck of light shines from the sun onto the sun-shaped belly badge of a Care Bear and the two of you lock eyes. And then you kill him. Kill him dead.
I’ve heard talk by some ninnies that the best mounting of the Care Bear is that of its belly. They say the cupcake, or the rainbow, or the smiling sun represents the proud part of the Care Bear. This is rubbish. Leave the rainbows to the womenfolk and their cross-stitching. Mount the head like a man, unless you shot the Care Bear in the face. Then do not mount it at all.
Julia McCloy is a social worker living in Memphis, Tennessee, whose work has appeared in McSweeneys.net and Faultline. She prefers laughing to just about anything.