Entombed inside the jar of honey, the key could clearly be seen.
Entering his tatty wooden hut the old man placed the key in its usual place. Why did he bother with it he wondered. Out here in the forest, miles from any path or track and even further from the next human the only likely intruders were bears. And bears tended not to worry too much about locks and doors and the like. If they wanted egress they took the direct route.
He sat and pulled out his pocket knife. A plump pear lay on the table in front of him and some strong old sheep’s cheese. Opening his knife he cut both into bite sized chunks and popped them into a small rough brown bowl and walked to the inset window seat.
Slowly, he enjoyed this snack.
Putting on his cap he opened the door and instinctively reached for the key. It was gone.
* . *. *. *
“Pears?” Asked the older bear, “they are very good with honey.”
They ate all the pears and half the honey. “Time to leave.”
Off they went, and gave the trussed up old man a mischievous grin as the dropped the key into the honey before closing the door behind them.
Lying on the uneven, uncomfortable and splintered floor of his shack the old man could not free his limbs, however hard he wriggled and squirmed. Winter was coming, and here he was entombed in this drafty place, alone and stuck. Just like the key he stared at, the last image imprinted on his slowly starving brain.