I'd like to think I'm a writer, primarily a poet, but my vocation is teaching. I've lived more than half a century, seeing the march of time, the beginning of TV on those little round screens with that peculiar green tint, and countless college students go away and forget the people who wept over their poorly constructed freshmen themes. During all of these observations, I sometimes find myself ashamed to be classified as human. I'd rather be a bear; they're the top of the food chain, they can get as fat as they like and no other bear finds them unattractive, and they sleep all winter. There's been no recorded case of bear cub abuse, and bears only quarrel over the esentials. I have a bassett hound called Buddy, but his personality more closely resembles my granddaughter's name for the breed: basket hound. I also share my home with a cat named Katt. He hasn't shared his real identity yet. My home sits just where I like, on the shores of a mountain stream where neighbors are few and trees are plentiful.