Mary Plain #5

Mary Plain #5

the bear pits in Berne

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I’ve pored over pictures and collected old postcards…

 

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but it was time to pack a sketchbook and go to Berne to see those bear pits (now the BärenPark) for myself!

 

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The original pits are still there, exactly as described in the books…

 

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but the current inhabitants have somewhere far nicer to live, with lush greenery to potter around and a river to bathe in. At first there was no sign of life at all, so I waited and waited.
The keeper came out and left a trail, not of iced buns or condensed milk, but of generous portions of carrots and fruit.
And at last they lumbered out, (Bjork, Ursina and Finn) – two large bears and one huge bear.

 

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Their snuffling snouts and easy, rolling, fat-shouldered, lazy movements are a joy to see.

Then they returned to their sleeping quarters and didn’t reappear for the rest of the day.
Priorities. I approve.

To think – the descendants of the bears that Gwynedd Rae saw and was so inspired by, all those years ago!

In Berne I also needed to draw the clock tower…

 

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and a tram, with their complicated power lines…

 

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both of which you’ll be able to spot in the books.

Tomorrow… well… tomorrow is a secret.
I haven’t quite decided if I’m going to tell you about it, actually.

 

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