School Shrink


Penelope Bailout, the school psychiatrist, isn’t really a trained doctor. She just got tired of teaching logic and math to bears who really needed health and guidance.

“Cindy, I want to talk about you trying to hurt yourself this morning. Other than to look gangster, why did you jump an oil truck?”

“Well, last week, we learned in Modern World Problems about how humans destroyed the world and got attacked by all the other animals as they were all going extinct. So that got me thinking: what if we polar bears do the same thing? What if we get so enslaved by our own daily routines that we forget about the really important but banal facts of life? What if we get so scared of nature and of dying that we end up destroying the earth with our technology and consumption?”

Miss Bailout scrunches up her eyebrows and pulls on one of her long whiskers. “Well, I guess that could happen, Cind. But even if this does happen – and I hope it doesn’t – how could jumping onto an oil truck and laying across the windshield help prevent it?”

Cindy speaks quickly, as if she has been writing a manifesto. “If I can show everyone that I’m not afraid of dying, then maybe everyone can see that it’s alright to die, and so they’ll let everyone and everything else… live.”

The school shrink scribbles something into her black velvet binder.

After a long pause, Cindy hands back her youth distress questionnaire: “Listen, Miss Bailout, I just want people to know that fear is worse than anything you can be afraid of. Humans, with all their fears and defenses, were just dinosaurs part two.”

Miss Bailout rises from her seat and walks towards the door to let Cindy out. “It’s true that humans and dinosaurs were similar. But not us, Cindy. Dinosaurs and humans didn’t live in igloos or live simply by consuming just the yearly surplus of nature like we do.

We P-Bears are going to make it after all.”

**Miss Bailout makes the volleyball team’s P-Bear sign with three fingers**


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