In the Cave a Bear does Wait

Well I suppose you think you are special for gaining the Fire Idol.

My instructor’s voice startles me and I nearly fall backwards into the pond. “No, Sir,” I stammer out. There’s a harrumph as if he doesn’t believe me, then a sigh.

Listen closely and listen well to this clue that I do tell.

He pauses and again I close my eyes to concentrate.

Into the cave the bear does lumber,
Getting ready for his winter slumber.
Deep in this den the idol waits,
Beware the bear doesn't wake.

Deciphering this riddle is easier than the last one. I obviously have to find a cave in which a bear is hibernating. “Isn’t it too early for a bear to be hibernating?” I ask myself quietly. There’s another snort that comes through my earpiece. I need to try and keep my thoughts to myself.

I slide into nature, letting her envelope me. My feet take off and I’m headed in the opposite direction as before. Trees rush past me and soon I’m clambering over and leaping between rocks. I slow down. At last I’m on top of this rocky hill.

The wind echoes from various caves beneath me. I listen to it. Most sound hollow. Try as I might, I can’t quite connect to the Earthen Idol, though I feel I am near. I clamber down one side and begin to work my way around. There are signs, all over this place, that bears reside here.

Half way around I see fresh tracks. A tree, gouged by sharp claws, is oozing sap. Carefully I make my way to the nearest cave. I send a gust of gentle wind in. It does not echo. Since it’s too early for bears to truly start hibernating I can only presume this is the cave.

I am but a few steps from the entrance when my feet sink into the ground. I thought the danger would be from the bear not the earth. Tug as I might, my feet are stuck and I am sinking.

“Having trouble soggy mutt?” Zack chortles as he saunters past.

My nostrils flare as I renew my struggle to free myself. It only makes me sink faster. Quick sand! The thought come unbidden. I stop struggling; therefore, I stop sinking. Slowly but surely I ask the water to wick away. If the quick sand becomes but sand I ought to be able to free myself. Just to be sure I move air under my feet to help me rise.

I’m concentrating so much I don’t even see Zack get the idol. A defining roar and an ear splitting squeal; however, alert me to the fact he’s woken the bear. Idol clutched in hand Zack shoots from the cave, bear after him. He nearly runs into me, a look of pure terror etched onto his face. The idol glows and he is gone, leaving me to face the angry bear.

Voicing its annoyance the bear rears up on its hind legs. I shield myself with air, as I am not yet free. The bear returns to all fours. Petrified, I stand stock still as it gives me a good sniffing. Looking me in the eye it gives me a slight nudge with its cold nose. I stumble back out of the earthen trap.

“Tha-thank you?” I stutter as the bear lumbers away.

The idol you were seeking has been taken. Please continue to that location to find your next clue. If you don’t know where you are going your last clue may be repeated.

My Instructor sounds as though he’s reading from a script. I make no response as I enter the cave.

Do you need your last clue repeated Morgan?

“No, thank you.” I respond to his sneer, my voice echoing in the small dark space.

He mutters something under his breath, but I’m not listening. I’m on my hands and knees searching for my next clue. I’ve almost given up when by chance I look up at the ceiling. There it is, shining with its own inner light. I grab it and walk outside to read it in the sunlight.

The End

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