A common Russian joke told to guests from other countries is that they can meet in Russia bears as well in big towns but with a balalaika around the shoulder and a bottle of vodka in the paw.
All is just fine for my teddy deep in the forest
This human perspective of the bear and nature has in fact nothing to do with the real bear who likes for instance to snack honey or all kinds of berries. In any case the bear still acts all around us as a virulent archetype in our today’s life and language, so in Germany – when telling a complete false story – this is described by the idiomatic phrase “jemandem einen Bären aufbinden” meaning literally to fix a bear on somebody’s back.
‘Meister Petz und Reineke Fuchs’, 1752, by Allart van Everdingen
(Illustration in Johann Christoph Gottscheds’ animal epos ‘Reineke der…
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