The Bear by William Faulkner
William Faulkner’s short story “The Bear” was first published in the May 9, 1942 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. The piece, considered one of the best short stories of the twentieth century, is a coming-of-age tale that weaves together themes of family, race, and the taming of the wilderness, as the young main character learns to hunt and track the huge bear known as Old Ben. “Be scared. You can’t help that. But don’t be afraid. Ain’t nothing in the woods going to hurt you unless you corner it, or it smells that you are afraid.” This short work is part of Applewood’s “American Roots,” series, tactile mementos of American passions by some of America’s most famous writers and thinkers.