The White Bear said: “Are you afraid?”
“No, that I am not,” said she.
“Keep tight hold of my fur, and then there is no danger,” said he.
And thus she rode far, far away, until they came to a great mountain. Then the White Bear knocked on it, and a door opened, and they went into a castle where there were many brilliantly lighted rooms which shone with gold and silver…
You may have read a fairy tale called East of the Sun and West of the Moon in which the beautiful girl is sold by her father to a bear. During the course of rescuing her true love, she has many adventures. With the help of allies, including the North Wind, she triumphs using a combination of bravery, integrity and grit.
The bear is, of course, a handsome prince who has been bewitched.
We might do well to remember the message of this fairy tale and some of the other winter tales too — The Snow Queen and Snow White and Rose Red. Be true to your feelings for things are not always as bad as they seem — and sometimes you need to make friends with a bear.
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