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  • Writer's pictureAmr Abbas

March of the Drop Bear

"March of the Drop Bear" in coffee and ink

Her ‘arms’ extended far up, slowly, dangerously, and eventually, after the passing of many a second, it reached around the branch. And with two opposable-looking thumbs, she gripped the hardwood. She lifted herself a few centimeters upwards and reached with the other arm to hold onto the same branch, but it took a few more seconds. Her tired eyes had seen so much work, so much life, but she could not bother to blink many times. Instead, they were slowly narrowing into bare slits and they closed entirely.

The great koala momma had fallen asleep, two steps into climbing the branch.

The other one seemed more alert, he was climbing down, with leaves in his mouth, slowly chewing, and almost—almost!—forgetting to complete the task. But his movement, slow as it may have been, alerted the momma bear. Her eyes, very vigilantly, and within the span of ten seconds, half opened. She remembered her task. Gripping onto the branch, she took a step up, taking another few long seconds. Her thick coat was touching his now, and they exchanged glances, long, challenging glances that led them to a stalemate. “For neither shall move until the other climbs,” a foretold prophecy.

He caved in before her, mostly because of his weight. He nudged her with his shoulder and she took a step up; moving out of the way for him. There was a comfortable spot between the branches, and he was determined to head there where he could rest from all the hard work he had done all day.

The eucalyptus leaf lingered between his teeth but he gulped it viciously, and there, he reached the bottom before she could reach the top. Finally, the great bear reached a point that he wanted. And he slept.

Momma bear rested on the branch, a few centimeters from the leaves, but it was time for her to rest. All the resting required a break from resting, but during that break, an essential moment was needed, to rest.

Painting and text by Amr Abbas.



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