Grusha Russian circus bear

The gift of friendship is unparalled, and I received a warm and fuzzy gift from our dear friend in Niles, singer/songwriter Michael McNevin, who gave us an impromptu performance of his new song about Grusha the Russian circus bear. Michael is a storyteller, whose songs reflect the human experience in a kind and deeply thoughtful way.

Grusha attached himself to Michael’s heart some time ago, and as fantasy bears sometimes do, he wouldn’t let up until Michael agreed to tell the world a musical rendition of his story.

It’s a smple story which some of you may remember from my previous blog of May 7, 2012, about Grusha, he was a bike riding attraction in the circus who longed to return to his home in Siberia. Going round and round, doing the same job every day, with no hope for his future, he seems familiar somehow. Michael first saw my painting of Grusha which lives in the small Haus in our garden. and then in pure serenditity, as things often do, bear mind control took over and Michael saw my blog. The result is a charming song sure to delight all ages.

As a friend of Michael’s said “Aren’t we all Grusha?” No matter what we do, or for how long, we are “all peddling our bikes to get back home”. Home is where warmth is, where love is, where family is. Gusha is readily recognizable.

Michael’s joyful song shows Grush’s excape and his journey back to his home in Siberia. His story fills us with hope and joy in the celebration of his freedom.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.


  1. How wonderful! I just went back and read your original post, and all the conversation. I suppose our usual metaphor is the hamster on a wheel: turning and turning, and never getting anywhere. Now, Grusha’s so real to me I wish he could escape. You need to paint another view of him — not a side view, but a view from the rear, with him heading on down the road!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An excellent idea Linda. I’m so happy he got back home in the song. As you may remember it didn’t turn out so well for him in reality when they took him back to the circus. Of course, we don’t even know if it is true at all. It may just be a nice story.

      I haven’t been reading or writing much lately, but I think of you often. I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year knowing it will be better than the past year in many ways. You got water, we are getting fire. There’s always something isn’t there? Good stories in the coming year.


  2. Fire, water and droughts. Is it any wonder that the Grushas long for the serenity of ‘home?’ That’s apart from the trumps and weinsteins. We will be lucky to get out alive.

    You have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Kayti


    1. Belated good wishes to you and Helvi Gerard. Yes, the news is never good where Trump is concerned, and now we deal with the Weinsteins. Makes us long for the old days when people kept their mouths and other things to themselves.


  3. I remember the original post and painting. And I vote with Shoreacres! Perhaps a new version of Grusha–free, free at last–is now called for. Of course, there is something to be said for routine. The Buddhists have much to say about finding joy in the mundane, don’t they? The joy of washing rice?

    We all have a little Grusha (captive and escapee) in us!


  4. You gave me a wonderful gift this cold day, Kayti. I read your blog, then followed Michael’s link and heard him sing his song based on your story and painting of Gusha. What a delight. I think your title sums it up well: in reality, all of us are pedaling our bikes, trying to get back home.


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