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  • Daniel Yoo

The Apex Predator

By Daniel Yoo
Posted on April 1, 2023
Cover Image Title: A Bear in the Forest
Cover Image by: Aleena Choudhry
Classification: Traditional media
Specifications: Colored Pencils, 15 in x 26 in
Year: 2023

Rustling among the leaves lays the great brown bear. Creeping along the brushes of twigs and decomposing stumps, the brown bear stood high and looked over a ridge. There lay a glade dotted with bright red mushrooms and morning glory flowers. Off into the middle of the glade, a toddler is seen rummaging among the foliage. Many distances over, a mother is seen calling out for her child. The bear turns his head sideways with inquisitive interest.

The brown bear slowly steps toward the glade and hides behind a recently fallen tree. The tree branches are still full of green leaves, through a ruffled lens, the brown bear looks closer at the child and mother.

“Julia! Where are you?” said the mother. Her voice echoed through the forest. Surely everyone except the child must’ve been listening at this point. The baby continued to crawl farther and farther away, undisturbed by her mother’s callings.

“Julia! If you don’t come back, the wolves are gonna find you!” yelled the mother. The baby did not react and didn’t flinch.

The bear fell back in shock. With a slanted head, the bear thought, “The wolf is one of the greatest animals to fear in this part of the country. Its large white fangs can tear any human apart. That lying on all fours crawling must be a powerful force that can best a wolf easily.”

“Julia, If you don’t come back, the eagles are gonna get you!” yelled the mother. Again the baby did not react and continued its path getting farther from its mother.

The bear’s eyes widened. “The eagle is a ferocious predator that hunts even the greatest defensible animals in the forest. The indestructible turtle is its greatest predator!” thought the bear.

The bear, filled with curiosity, ventured down the slope towards the glade opening. Now with a closer look at the mother and child, the bear beamed his dotted eyes at the pair.

“An eagle and wolf are merely feeble competitors to me. I’m greater in strength and speed. This pair will make for a tasty snack!” said the bear as he hid among bushes.

“Julia, if you don’t come back, bears might come and eat you!”

Snickering, the bear said, “It's exactly what I'm planning to do and…” Stopping in awe to see the child running free, undisturbed by the mention of a bear.

“This being doesn't even flinch when the danger of a bear is mentioned?” said the bear. The bear rolled back in fear, shaking his head in denial. Breaking stumps and foliage, the bear fell back like a whining child. Suddenly sitting back up straight, the bear looks over to investigate the child further, peering through the foliage of oak saplings and dead branches.

“Julia, I’ll give you an apple if you come back!” said the mother in a desperate attempt. Instantly the child ran towards the mother.

The bear’s eyes widened intensely. “If this child doesn’t flinch at an eagle, wolf, or even a bear, how vicious and destructive could this apple specimen be?”

With his eyes trained on the mother, the bear saw a red orb come out from a pocket. The child, now in the mother’s arms, received the orb. “There you go. Have the apple!”

Upon realization of the red orb’s identity, the bear knew he was too close to be in this distance of an apex predator. The apple could probably sniff him out at this point. His whole life was on the line. Breaking branches and mushrooms on the way, the bear rushed to get distance from the apple.

Upon sunrise's time, the bear had finally stopped running. “This distance from the apple surely will get me to safety,” said the bear, puffing from his intense run for his life.

[ * The End * ]

The Editor's Notes:

The story builds a healthy dose of tension step by step and ends with unexpected, hilarious relief. The language flows smoothly. Superb! - Writing Editor: J. Y.]


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