TIL That in the late 1780’s, an Irishman met an impressive performing bear while travelling France. When the bears owner prodded him with a stick, the bear shouted something in Irish, which led to the discovery that the performing bear was actually another Irishman who had been sown into the suit.

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Maybe all bears are Irishmen sewn into suits . . .


How long had he been sewn in the suit? How did he defecate? How could any audience watch for more than about 30 seconds and not notice?


So, what number of people who have ever lived would, upon coming across a shipwrecked sailor, have the immediate thought “I’m going to sew him into a bear outfit and make him perform for the general public”?


Well that’s today’s dose of mans inhumanity to man for me.


One of my favorite historical novels had an episode about an English Naval officer traveling in France during the “peace” between England France in the Napoleonic War. He was caught unawares in France as war was started up again. Somebody thought it would be a good idea to put the officer in a bear suit and have him travel with a circus to avoid capture and reach the coast and return to England. I wonder if the author got the idea from this 1780 Irish story.