In the Olden Days of Yore
01 artist: Amy Goicoechea

In the Olden Days of Yore there lived a Bear. He could not have been more lonely.

02 artist: Andrea Broyles

As a cub Bear befriended a Salmon who promised to return one day and play with him in the river.

03 artist: Elisa San Souci

Unfortunately, being a bear, this promise meant only one thing. Lunch. It was a moral quandary.

04 artist: Amy Larkin

This quandary upset the bear so much that for a few of his teenage years he tried to be a vegetarian.

05 artist: Jon Burke

Unfortunately, being a bear, this wasn’t his nature. It presented a unique problem. He needed a friend he couldn’t eat.

06 artist: Erin Roy

And that ruled out the bluebirds, the foxes, deer, pretty much the entire populous of Eastern Yore.

07 artist: Emily Boespflug

Bear decided to set out on his own. Venturing away from his family into a world of darkness and light.

08 artist: Amanda Flosbach

After days of wandering across the deep forest and through the red desert, the Bear came to a village.

09 artist: Thomas Stimpson

The village gate was an imposing structure and beside it stood a crow who asked him a single question...

10 artsit: Sam Fitz

“Who is the Gallant keeper of the kept key?” And despite his good education the Bear did not know.

11 artsit: Bronwyn Minton

The Bear ate the crow and entered the village.

12 artsit: Robbin Oberheu

Apparently the crow himself was the kept key. Solving this riddle made Bear feel smart.

13 artsit: Cindee George

The smart Bear was henceforth introduced to the town as someone with a dexterous mind and ferocious appetite.

14 artsit: Stephanie Brennan

By which I mean Bear was introduced to the buildings as all the people had hidden behind barred doors.

15 artsit: Miga Rosetti

However one creature didn’t hide, whether this was lack of foresight or lack of legs has never been determined.

16 artsit: Lisa Walker

He was a small conical metal creature and he zipped right up to Bear and flashed his pink lights.

17 artsit: Mark Nowlin

“Beep,” he beeped, and continued with “Bloopy whizz zap beep beep whoop deep bloop,” and so on. The bear smiled.

18 artsit: Sharon Thomas

Bear raised his paw, rested it on the creature, looked straight into its lights and said, “let’s be friends.”

19 artsit: Stacey Walker

The creature spun in a circle with such frenzied excitement that several bolts fell to the ground beneath it.

20 artsit: Evan Simms

These bolts seemed to have kept him moving because suddenly he was locked in place and sparking from his rear.

21 artsit: Jocelyn Slack

Having never sparked from the rear but assuming it was bad, the bear said, “You are in need of repair.”

22 artsit: Frances Pokorny

“Ge-beep” the creature said and flashed red lights on the left of his body.

23 artsit: Cary Tijerina

Sadly, as is so often the case, the right was unilluminated, and the bear lacked the skills to fix it.

24 artsit: Rachel Kunkle

But after several more beeps and flashes from his new friend, Bear realized what he must do.

25 artsit: Suzanne Morelock

Bear needed to find a robotician, yes dear readers, a person educated in the fine art or repairing robots.

26 artsit: Susan Thulin

So he did what any bear of his reputation would do; he started knocking down doors.

27 artsit: Elizabeth Amidon

Bear didn’t find houses with porridge too hot, for he was no fairy tale or symbol of a once great nation.

28 artsit: Lyndsay McCandless

Bear found a small man cowering under a desk with a screwdriver. He didn’t eat him.

29 artsit: George Leys

“Can you fix my friend?” The bear growled. The man shook his head, saying, “It isn’t my screwdriver.”

30 artsit: Jenny Dowd

“Well, what can I do? I don’t have a posable thumb. I can’t fix my friend robot,” said the bear.

31 artsit: Henry Sweets

“Look,” said the screwdriver man. “I don’t have elbows and you don’t see me complaining.”

32 artsit: John & Luna Wasson

He extended his pale arms for inspection. The bear growled and turned to leave the room. “Wait” the man said.

33 artsit: Rocky Vertone

“I might know someone to help you. My daughter Isabelle who has never spoken a word. This is her screwdriver.”

34 artsit: Lawrence Bennett

Just then a mousy girl with a red backpack swung down from a loft the bear hadn’t noticed.

35 artsit: Roberta Carney

Despite her tacit nature she was not shy. She grabbed the screwdriver from her father, and gently kicked the bear.

36 artsit: Ryan Haworth

The Bear, intuitive as well as smart, immediately took her hand in his paw and led her into the street.

37 artsit: Oona Doherty

There lay the robot. A sad pile of right angle and steel that could break the teeth of a carnivore.

38 artsit: Dorothy Jankowski

The girl sighed, then unzipped her backpack causing her tools to fall on the sidewalk amidst the decimated robot.

39 artist: Craig Spankie

There are times, she thought, when we must hide the darkness in our souls, and this wasn’t one of them.

40 Artsist: Thomas Woodhouse

Unfortunately right then the bear was attacked by a family of angry crows. The kept-key keepers family to be precise.

41 artsit: Heather Hannan

“I am eternally silent,” Isabelle spoke the first four words of her life, and the crows, in deference, retreated.

42 artist: Clint Green

Which left Isabelle to the task of repairing the robot. It took her exactly four minutes forty-four seconds.

43 artsit: Amy Ringholz

Too pious for pride in the work she nevertheless expected payment and wordlessly extended an open palm to the bear.

44 artsit: Alissa Davies

The bear had nothing, so he ran to the river killed his former friend Salmon and offered him to Isabelle.

45 artsit: Fay Bisbee

She accepted the fish and turned on the robot.

46 artsit: Charlotte Potter

Robot beeped and rammed the Bear lovingly. But the Bear had some concerns about taking his new friend home.

47 artsit: Jen Daniels

However, they were small concerns having to do with the nature of subatomic particles and the shelf life of cheese.

48 artist: Sharon Trigg

Isabelle assured him these would not affect the Robot. But she showed him how his jet pack worked just in case.

49 Artist: Darby Hillman

The future days of Yore were bright as the Bear ascended from earth with a close friend in each claw.

50 artist: Sam Dowd

Leaving me to tell you only that it is always worthwhile to seek unappetizing friends. The End.