To the ancients, bears symbolized resurrection. They watched it roaming the forests during spring and summer and then seemingly lifeless during winter hibernation. The following spring she-bears would emerge with new offspring. A miracle! No wonder this beautiful animal plays such a strong role in folk and fairy tales.
Illustration by Stephen T. Johnson for the tale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon.”
Text and image source: Edmund Dulac https://www.facebook.com/189134157844043/posts/3733829903374433/