My wife had “Mysteries of the Museum” on in the background last night. Usually I’m typing away or researching or reading while she runs the television in the evening, but I perked up during the story of Voytek the soldier bear. The details were so preposterous I had to stop what I was doing and look him up. I discovered that not only was the account true, there were even more stories about how awesome Voytek was. The bear so distinguished himself in the line of duty that his Polish unit actually changed their emblem to the image you see on the left.
I read several accounts of his life and adventures, and this was the most entertaining even if it employs ungentlemanly language. I think that’s the secret of some of its humor, but I’ve been kind of down on ungentlemanly conduct lately, so I thought I’d warn you. Here’s another article with a few additional details.
There’s apparently a documentary about Votyek as well. I swear, if I put this stuff in a story people would laugh at me for the sheer absurdity… But since it’s true, it’s pretty danged cool.