Katja Gehrmann’s Goose the Bear speaks about identity and the emotional lives of animals, offering a stimulation to reconsider our perspective when regarding parenting/ adoption

Katja Gehrmann, Goose the Bear

Published 2014 by Sky Pony Press, 40 p. Translated by Connie Stradling Morby


I am not sure if there is a real growth in parenting studies or it is just me discovering them now as I am directly interested in the subject but it is intriguing to see the modern approaches to it and the changes in time. There is no best recipe or perfect parenting but most of the studies praise the idea of presence and affection, stressing the fact that an accepted and loved child will develop strong personality and his or her dependency on parents will diminish in time.

Goose the Bear is an amusing but deep story on what makes a family and how acceptance and love can generate harmony in our lives. Normally there is a pattern about the elements that create a family but this is a story that reminds us about the situations when fate just doesn’t follow the mainstream.

In a forest in Canada a fox wanted to give his wife a special gift so he stole an almost hatched egg from a goose. Extremely excited he became negligent and when he ran into a bear (Bears were not to be missed with), the fox dropped the egg. Curious, the bear picked up the egg and soon a gosling was calling the bear Mama!



The bear felt confusion, anger and then affection:

Oh my, he thought. What should I do with this thing?… fox would probably make fun of him.

“Just a minute” growled the bear. “I’m not your mama! I’m a bear. And you’re a… well, you are definitely not a bear.”

“Yes, Mama”, said the little animal.

“I’m not your mama”, said the bear again. “I’m big and strong, have a brown coat, and like to catch salmon. And you’re different.”

The little bird seemed not to understand as the need to have a mother was stronger than the bear’s rejection. By imitation, self-confidence and courage the gosling followed the bear managing to reach the top of the trees, swim in deep rivers and even catch a huge salmon and knock the fox in the head with it.

Having learned his lesson, filled with pride when seeing the strength and the determination of the small goose, the bear’s attitude changes. Meditating on the importance of appreciating everybody’s individuality, the bear accepts the bird as it is the qualities that bring them together not the differences.

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Complement Goose the Bear with The Storm Whale, a beautiful story on solitude, friendship and single parenting.


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