Sometimes friendships are forged under the most unlikely circumstances. The Bear, however, quite liked to think that his friendship with the Inventor was not in the least bit unlikely – if anything, it was a certainty from time immemorial.
“Let her ask. Questions never do harm. Only answers can do harm. And both are harmless at the moment.” He leaned back, casting his eyes into the distance, the ponderous weight of his thought pressing his chair into the floorboards. “I do think about marriage often. It is a beautiful idea, positively transcendent in its meaning. In fact, I dare say there is nothing on earth so full of meaning.”
A brief silence; then, it was the Inventor’s turn to pry. “Beg pardon, my friend, and don’t think for a moment you need to answer, but if it means so much to you, why don’t you pursue it yourself?”
The Bear chuckled quietly. “It is precisely because marriage is so meaningful that I choose not to pursue it. I would very much like to be married. I would not refrain from it if I did not think so highly of it.”
And for once in his life, the Inventor’s swift tongue failed him. Even long after the Bear had retired to his own home for the night, the Inventor sat awake, moonlight filtering in through the windows, puzzling over the meaning of these contradictions in a man who clearly bore no contradictions whatsoever.
Surely, the Inventor thought, there must be more to it than that.